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Gov’t to retain current public transport supply, capacity during stricter lockdown

PHILIPPINE STAR/ BOY SANTOS

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) said Tuesday the government has approved its recommendation to retain the current public transport supply and capacity in the capital region during the implementation of stricter community quarantine rules from Aug. 6 to 20.

Under the current policy, public vehicles are limited to carry passengers at 50% of capacity, and more than 80% of public utility vehicles have been allowed to operate.

“The latest Omnibus Guidelines approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) have allowed the continued operation of public transportation, at such capacity and supply as recommended by the DoTr,” the department said in a statement.

The department said only authorized persons will be accommodated by public transport services.

“There will be stricter enforcement to ensure that only (authorized persons) are permitted to use public transport,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said, noting that pertinent identification cards and other documents must be presented.

The police has deployed more officers in Metro Manila for the implementation of quarantine rules such an 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, liquor ban in certain localities, and ban on mass gatherings.

“Through the imposition of the curfew, mass gatherings will be prevented, such as drinking and other gatherings which have huge chances of becoming super spreader events,” police chief Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said in Pilipino in a news release on Tuesday.

Lt. Gen. Israel Ephraim Dickson, head of the police task force on quarantine protocol enforcement, said 75 quarantine control points or checkpoints have already been established at the greater Manila area bubble as of August 3.

At a televised news briefing on Tuesday, Mr. Dickson said 1,019 police personnel have been deployed in the area. — Arjay L. Balinbin and Bianca Angelica D. Anago

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