Commuters’ and drivers’ safety should be top of mind, according to Senator Grace Poe

Given that quarantine measures will soon be lifted in several areas in the Philippines, Senate Committee on Public Services Chairperson Senator Grace Poe highlighted the safety of the riding public and the prevention of COVID-19 transmission in the use of public transportation.

"The challenge is to restore mobility and livelihood of the drivers without compromising safety amid the pandemic," Sen. Poe said in the virtual hearing held by the Senate Committee on Public Services which discussed the measures to be implemented with the lifting of the quarantine.

Given then social distancing would still be in place for weeks to come, Sen. Poe called on governments support to augment drivers’ and operators’ income given that operating at full capacity would not be permitted. Further reducing person to person contact, an automated pay system was also brought up in the session.

During the virtual meeting, it was also mentioned that a “no mask, no entry” policy would be put into place and temperature scans will be conducted by designated personnel to check every passenger. Sanitations kits would also be present and provided while disinfections are required for every public utility vehicle’s trip to prevent contamination.

"To our passengers, the most important really is to maintain social distancing, to always wash your hands, to keep a mask on. Otherwise all of these measures will be for nothing," Sen. Poe said.

A proposal from the Department of Transportation to the Inter Agency Task Force seeks a monthly funding of around Php 3-B to support drivers and operators which would include fuel subsidy, among others.

According to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, no fare increases shall be implemented on the resumption of public transportation.

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