Amid the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) ordered the implementation of health protocols in all transport sectors.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the safety of commuters is always paramount.
“We must make sure that health protocols are strictly implemented in all public transport vehicles and in all transport facilities,” Tugade said in a news release on Saturday.
Tugade’s call came two days before Metro Manila goes under Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15.
A total of 14 cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed as of December 31.
Under Alert Level 3, intrazonal and interzonal movement are still allowed but reasonable restrictions may be imposed by local government units.
As part of the implementation of health protocols, Tugade ordered enforcers from the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and train marshals of all railway lines to make sure that proper physical distancing is observed inside public transport vehicles and inside terminals.
Enforcers and marshals have also been ordered to make sure that commuters entering terminals and boarding public transport are wearing face masks.
Commuters must also be prohibited from talking or eating while inside trains.
“Don’t be complacent. The virus is still around so let’s make it a habit to wear face masks, especially inside public transport,” Tugade reminded.
Public transport operators must likewise ensure that their vehicles are safe and are properly disinfected.
As enforcers and transport marshals cannot be watching all the time, Tugade urged commuters to be vigilant against those who will be breaking protocols.
“We need everyone’s cooperation. We cannot do this alone. Passengers, drivers, and operators, let us help one another. Be responsible and disciplined,” he said.
In the aviation sector, Tugade said officials must revisit the existing cap on daily passenger arrivals in main gateways in coordination with concerned agencies. (PR)