Mayors urged: Consider nightshift commuters in implementing curfew
Long lines of commuters can be seen at the EDSA-Quezon Avenue bus stop and MRT GMA-Kamuning station on Monday morning, a day after the highest single-day record of new COVID-19 cases.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Mayors urged: Consider nightshift commuters in implementing curfew

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - March 11, 2021 - 12:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — Commuters called attention to the possible effects of the curfews in Metro Manila's cities on commuters working late hours, many of whom already have to reckon with a pronounced shortage in public transportation options amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

To recall, the Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier this week called on Metro Manila mayors to implement uniform curfew hours, citing the sharp rise in coronavirus cases in recent days. 

In a statement sent to reporters Thursday, Primo Morillo, who serves as the convenor of commuter advocacy group The Passenger Forum appealed for the situation of nightshift workers to be taken into consideration in implementing curfews.

“A significant percentage of the National Capital Region workforce works at night or in the so-called graveyard shift, and they commute regularly within curfew hours,” he said. 

"The move to implement uniform curfew hours certainly helps them but we also call on our government to standardize and simplify the policies how our nightshift workers can avail of their exemption from curfews."

In most cities where curfews have been hoisted anew, only a select few including healthcare workers, essential workers, police, and military personnel have been granted exemptions from the curfews. 

RELATED: LIST: Curfews declared by Metro Manila cities amid spike in COVID-19 cases

Outside of these localities, the Philippine National Police has also ordered intensified police deployment in the cities of Malabon, Navotas and Pasay, where cases are also slowly rising, to enforce coronavirus protocols.

Police have also been ordered by the interior department to penalize any quarantine violators found in the streets. 

The Passenger Forum in its statement suggested that the exemption must be instantly accorded to employees who can show an ID or document proving that they are working in industries or companies that require them to work at night.

“The policy must be simple to lessen the inconvenience brought to these workers who will still commute during a time when it is not easy to find public transportation especially during curfew hours. We appeal to enforcers to be considerate since these workers are already tired and the current situation of our public transportation is not helping them,” Morillo said.

According to the group's monitoring, it said, the already-scarce number of public utility vehicles allowed to ply their routes by the national government dips to more drastic lows at night.

“This is especially true for those who ride the EDSA Bus Carousel System. Some workers choose to book TNVS units or taxicabs instead but we need to understand that most of them can’t afford this luxury,” Morillo said.

READ: Allowing more PUVs will help ensure compliance to COVID-19 protocols — commuter group

In an earlier release, the group appealed to the Department of Transportation to allow more PUVs to ply their routes to help ensure physical distancing protocols. This came after the government's Inter-Agency Council for Traffic announced that it would 

As it stands, the Department of Health in its latest tally Wednesday afternoon placed the country's caseload at 603,308. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 23, 2021 - 10:36am

Follow this thread for updates on COVID-19 risk levels, safety measures, and data from Metro Manila's local government units.

Photo: The STAR/Michael Varcas

July 23, 2021 - 10:36am

The National Capital Region will be placed under General Community Quarantine "with heightened restrictions" from July 23 to 31, the Palace says.

The last time that "heightened restrictions" were imposed, the government allowed only essential interzonal — or between areas with diferent classifications — travel.

Indoor dining was allowed at 20-percent seating capacity and outdoor dining was limited to 50-percent capacity.

Tourist attractions were allowed to operate at 30-percent capacity.



June 21, 2021 - 4:54pm

Manila allows walk-in clients in all vaccination sites following low vaccination turnouts reported in the city.

Mayor Isko Moreno issued the directive at 4:30 p.m., Manila Public Information Office says.

Manila City started its no-walk in policy on Monday, resulting to low vaccination turnouts.

June 16, 2021 - 12:25pm

Quezon City may terminate its contract with Zuellig Pharma Corp. over "technical difficulties" on its eZConsult service that have prevented residents from signing up for COVID-19 vaccination slots.

"We have issued an ultimatum to Zuellig so they can improve their system quickly and provide all the deliverables. If not, we have no other choice but to find another company that can do the job quickly and efficiently," QC Mayor Joy Belmonte says in a press statement.

The eZConsult system bogged down in June 10, 2021, the QC government said, "causing the city government’s inability to provide vaccines to its constituents in a quick and timely manner."

It said the city may also seek damages from the company over the inconvenience that the technical difficulties caused.

June 14, 2021 - 11:46am

The curfew in the National Capital Region will be adjusted to from midnight to 4 a.m., Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Benhur Abalos announces.

The new curfew hours — shorter than the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew imposed in May — will take effect on June 15.

May 26, 2021 - 2:41pm

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has issued a show-cause order for Majority Floor Leader Franz Pumaren to explain alleged violations of health protocols at a food distribution event on Tuesday afternoon.

"The move is consistent with the city government’s policy of going after violators of established health and safety protocols as well as to hold them accountable for their actions, regardless of status or position," the mayor's office says.

In a press briefing, Pumaren says the food distribution in Barangay Old Balara was assisted by purok leaders to act as marshalls and ensure that health protocols were followed.

Aside from the volunteers, personnel from the Philippine National Police and the city's Task Force Disiplina were also at the event to manage the crowd, which Pumaren says reached around 5,000 to 6,000 people.

He says the line was orderly until rain disrupted the activity and acknowledges that people rushed back to get in line when the rain stopped.

"The Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit has been instructed to conduct Covid 19 testing among participants of the activity," the mayor also says.

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