Trikes, taxis permitted in Davao's enhanced community quarantine
Mayor Vico Sotto said while they have rolled out city government-owned vehicles to give free rides, they allowed tricycles to operate amid the lack of transportation for health workers and other essential service providers.
Philstar.com/Irish Lising
Trikes, taxis permitted in Davao's enhanced community quarantine
Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - April 4, 2020 - 7:32pm

MANILA, Philippines —Davao Region's own version of a lockdown starting Saturday evening is appearing quite different from that of Luzon, Cebu and other areas, as tricycles and taxis would remain permitted to ply the roads and carry passengers.

The discrepancy in rules governing enhanced community quarantines may be traced from authorities that issued the order. While President Duterte placed Luzon in a lockdown beginning March 17 to control the coronavirus spread, local officials elsewhere were given discretion to impose their own, albeit with different requirements.

In Davao City and the rest of the Region XI, that means allowing some “forms of public transportation” so long as passengers practice social distancing, during the enhanced quarantine beginning April 4, 9 p.m. to the end of the day on April 19. 

In particular, tricycles and taxis “with one driver and one passenger in front and one in back” are permitted to operate, according Executive Order No. 23 signed by Davao City Mayor Sara Carpio-Duterte last April 2. The provision was also contained in Order 2020-008 of the COVID-19 task force for the entire Davao Region.

Public jeepneys, on the other hand, remain prohibited from hitting the roads.

Carpio-Duterte’s leeway for tricycles during the Davao quarantine period is in direct contrast to the stringent rules imposed by her father, President Duterte in Luzon, where a total public transport suspension became a thorny issue in the early days of the quarantine. 

Apart from forcing many healthcare workers to walk from home to work, a halt in public transport meant informal workers such as tricycle drivers were left with no daily earnings and safety net for their families in the first few days of the lockdown.

The messy scenario prompted Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to allow tricycles to operate in his jurisdiction to assist commuters, despite Malacanang orders to the contrary. He later on caved in after President Duterte, in a speech, told mayors to accede to the national government in enforcing the lockdown.

Sotto’s initial defiance was also seen by the National Bureau of Investigation as basis to ask him for explanation supposedly for violating Republic Act 11964, which gives the national government direct control in all programs related to COVID-19 response.

Senator Tito Sotto, author of the law, came to his nephew’s defense, saying NBI’s actions have no basis since the law was enacted few days after Vico’s supposed violation.

Elsewhere in the archipelago, an enhanced community quarantine was also imposed in Cebu province by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia beginning March 26 to stem the spread of COVID-19. Public transportation was also stopped.

As of April 2, Davao City had recorded 49 confirmed COVID-19 cases, while Cebu had 28. Metro Manila accounted for the bulk of cases at 1,507, health department data showed.

Nationwide, there were already 2,633 COVID-19 cases as of April 2. The total number rose to 3,094 as of April 4.

BAYANIHAN HEAL AS ONE ACT OF 2020 BAYANIHAN TO HEAL AS ONE ACT DAVAO DAVAO CITY DAVAO REGION ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PASIG CITY SARA DUTERTE SARA DUTERTE CARPIO VICO SOTTO
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