No mass transportation amid 'enhanced community quarantine' in Luzon
A Philippine policeman inspects identification of jeepney passengers at a checkpoint bordering nearby Cavite province and suburban Las Pinas in Manila on March 15, 2020, as the government steps up efforts to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

No mass transportation amid 'enhanced community quarantine' in Luzon

Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - March 16, 2020 - 10:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — Train systems, buses, jeepneys and other forms of mass transportations are not allowed to operate during the “enhanced community quarantine” of the entire Luzon mainland.

Taxis as well as ride-hailing companies such as Angkas and Grab will also not be allowed to operate during the quarantine period.

Mass and public transportation will be suspended starting midnight of March 17 until April 12.

“The idea here is to keep everybody on home quarantine,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Tuesday.

“Ang mindset dapat natin dito: in case of doubt, stay at home,” he added.

Nograles said individuals are allowed to use their private vehicles on Luzon roads if they will buy basic necessities in public markets, groceries and convenience stores.

“So therefore, you may go to them if there is no public transport, then private or you’ll have to walk,” he said.

LGU to provide means of transpo

So how can Business Process Outsourcing employees go to their workplaces if mass transportations are suspended? Nograles said BPO companies must provide their employees temporary accommodation arrangements by March 18 or they will not be permitted to operate.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said local government units can provide transportation and require public utilities to operate certain number of vehicles.

“We don’t want to open all public transportation to move. Our objective is to restrict movement of people to maximum,” Año said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday declared an “enhanced community quarantine” over the entire Luzon, implementing a strict home quarantine for every household.

The newest measure also constitutes the “heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures” while “provision for food and essential health services shall be regulated.”

Health authorities recorded two new infections, raising the domestic tally of cases to 142.

In all, 12 people have died from COVID-19 in the country and three patients have fully recovered.

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