Press Release
May 12, 2020

Revilla: Public Transport must be fully prepared as MECQ declared over Metro Manila, Laguna, Cebu

Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. emphasized the need to fully prepare the local transport sector as Pres. Rodrigo Duterte placed Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu from Enhanced Community Quarantine to (ECQ) to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ).

Under MECQ, there will be a partial opening of selected industries with a maximum of 50 percent of employees allowed to work. Transportation within these areas will be limited, giving priority to the delivery of basic goods and services. Although socio-economic activities will partially resume, minimum public health standards will strictly be observed.

Revilla, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said that even though public transport will gradually be operational, it is still necessary to check if the available modes of transportation will be commensurate to the volume of passengers.

"Ang pangunahing dapat nating masagot sa usaping ito, handa na ba tayo? Handa ba tayong masiguro ang pangangailangan lalo na ang kaligtasan ng mga mananakay, kaakibat ang ginhawa o penitensiyang mararanasan nila," Revilla said.

He also questioned the reliability of MRT, LRT and PNR as viable transportation for Filipinos. DOTr earlier advised the public to give a leeway of 2-3 hours before passengers can get on-board since the rail system will be operating on 10%-13% limited capacity.

"Meron na tayong tinatawag na crowd control sa mga istasyon prior to this pandemic. Ang pila halimbawa sa North Ave., umaabot na minsan ng kilometro. Ngayong limited capacity ang operations dahil sa social distancing, how do you plan to implement this crowd control? Gaanong kahaba na ang pila niyan?" Revilla said.

The veteran legislator also asked the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and DOTr regarding the possible impact of the protocols/guidelines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) stating that 50 % passenger capacity of buses and jeepneys will only be allowed to observe physical distancing. Public transport comprises 70 percent of all travels within Metro Manila.

Metro Manila's population of 14 million increases by seven million during daytime because of workers from nearby provinces like Cavite, Rizal, Batangas, and Bulacan, which will be under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), and Laguna which was retained under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from May 16 to 31.

Bong Revilla also pointed out important issues which include whether the concerns of drivers and operators regarding a fare hike are valid, medical emergency response for senior citizens and young adults aged 20 and below, approved routes for public transport, and proposal for government-sponsored transport to compensate for limitation of privately-owned buses and jeepneys.

He also asked the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Civil Aviation Board (CAB), Maritime Transport, and Public Transport Operators and Drivers Associations regarding the safety measures that they plan to implement to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their respective sectors once they resume operations.

News Latest News Feed