MRT, LRT, PNR halt operations

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
MRT, LRT, PNR halt operations
Public transportation and non-essential travel are prohibited under MECQ.
Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — All rail lines in Metro Manila will suspend operations beginning today until Aug. 18 after President Duterte reimposed the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine or MECQ in the National Capital Region and nearby areas amid the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Public transportation and non-essential travel are prohibited under MECQ.

The Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3), Light Rail Transit 1 and LRT-2 will stop operations in compliance with the MECQ guidelines.

Train trips will resume on Aug. 19 or until Metro Manila shifts back to general community quarantine or GCQ.

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) has not posted an announcement yet, but the Department of Transportation said all rail lines are prohibited from operating under MECQ.

The government allowed the MRT-3, LRT Lines 1 and 2 and PNR to resume operations at limited passenger capacity after the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) placed Metro Manila under the more lenient GCQ on June 1.

Last July, the MRT-3 suspended operations for several days after at least 281 employees were infected with the virus.

On Sunday night, President Duterte approved the recommendation of the IATF to revert Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal to MECQ following the appeal of medical frontliners for a “timeout” amid the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Free ferry rides

Meanwhile, the Pasig River ferry will limit its services to medical frontliners and government employees starting today, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said yesterday.

The MMDA said free ferry rides would be provided to frontliners at the Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin, Guadalupe, Valenzuela, Lawton and Escolta stations.

The frontliners need to present their identification cards to avail themselves of the free rides from Monday to Saturday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We hope that this will help our health workers and government employees in going to their respective workplaces,” MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said.

Ferry passengers should wear face masks and observe distancing during the rides. Those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be denied entry, the MMDA said. – Marc Jayson Cayabyab






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