LRT-1 contractor lays off 100 employees amid MECQ
This undated file photo shows the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) in Manila.
The STAR/Edd Gumban
LRT-1 contractor lays off 100 employees amid MECQ
( - August 11, 2020 - 1:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — As part of a "right-sizing program," the Light Rail Manila Corporation, the private contractor operating and maintaining the Light Rail Transit-Line 1 in Manila, will be laying off some 100 of its employees by mid-September, the company announced.

The decision, the company said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, was made "through multiple levels of close consultation with LRMC's employee union" and “due to a significant 90 percent drop in ridership brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Mass transportation, which includes all rail lines in Metro Manila, were suspended once more with the reimposition of modified enhanced community quarantine. The LRT-1 had earlier been running on limited capacity to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.

"LRMC management has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic situation from the start and has been taking appropriate measures, balancing its financial position while looking after its team members," the company's statement sent to reporters read.  

"However as LRMC has scaled down operations during the quarantine period and deferred some projects, the company recognizes the need to optimize human resources by reducing the size of its workforce. This will aim to right-size the organization to better suit the current and future business conditions, as well as maintain stability while navigating through the uncertainty of this global crisis," it added. 

The company's management also said that it "faithfully complies with all Department of Labor and Employment guidelines" and would "assist affected members on livelihood and investing wisely" by offering webinars and online consultations on managing mental health, among others. 

The lack of public transportation options for commuters still going to work remains to be a problem especially in the National Capital Region, where frontliners still have to go to work despite suspended transport. 

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier defended the limited transportation options before a House panel on Wednesday, saying it is what the government's coronavirus task force ordered to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

— Franco Luna

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 18, 2020 - 4:47pm

Metro Manila and other “highrisk” areas were placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine last May 16, which is more relaxed than ECQ, but has more restrictions compared with the general community quarantine (GCQ). Bookmark this page for updates. Photo by The STAR/Michael Varcas

August 18, 2020 - 4:47pm

Sen. Bong Revilla, who earlier tested positive for COVID-19, was rushed to the hospital, according to his wife Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado.

"He is being rushed to the hospital. His latest X-ray shows that he has developed pneumonia and isolation in a regular facility is no longer ideal," Mercado says in a Facebook post Tuesday.

August 18, 2020 - 4:23pm

The Department of Health reports 4,836 additional COVID-19 cases in the country, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 169,213.

The DOH also logs 182 new recoveries, bringing the total of recovered patients to 112,861. The national death toll is now at 2,687 with the addition of 7 new reported deaths.

Total active cases (net of COVID-19 deaths and recoveries) in the Philippines is now at 53,665.

August 17, 2020 - 4:27pm

The Department of Health reports 3,314 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, bringing the total cases on the country to 164,474.

The health department also announced 237 new recoveries, pushing the total of recovered patients to 112,759. The national death toll is now at 2,681 following 18 new reported deaths.

The total active COVID-19 cases (net of deaths and recoveries) in the Philippines is now at 49,034.

August 17, 2020 - 2:52pm

President Rodrigo Duterte is under "perpetual isolation" as a precaution against COVID-19, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says.

According to Roque, there is a velvet rope keeping people six feet away from the president.

In August, Duterte had a meeting with DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano, who later on tested positive for the virus once again.

August 6, 2020 - 4:15pm

The Department of Health on Thursday reports 3,561 additional COVID-19 cases in the country based on tests from 89 out of 98 operational labs. This pushes the national tally of coronavirus cases in the Philippines to 119,460.

The health department also announcs 569 new recoveries, raising the total number of recoveries to 66,867. The national death toll is now at 2,150 with 28 additional fatalities.

The country's total active cases (net of COVID-19 deaths and recoveries) is now at 50,473.

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