Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) flagged down several public utility vehicle drivers for not following one-meter physical distancing inside their jeepneys.
Jun Veneracion reported on Unang Balita that the jeepney drivers were confused if they would follow the 50% capacity limit or the one-meter physical distancing.
The PNP-HPG did not issue a ticket to the drivers, but they were given a warning.
PNP-HPG National Capital Region director Police Colonel Wilson Doromal said they would issue tickets if the jeepney drivers commit a second offense.
Meanwhile, the drivers said they are thinking about stopping their operations as their income would significantly drop if only a few passengers would be allowed.
Earlier, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the suspension of reducing physical distancing in public transport vehicles.
Meanwhile, Ariel Inton, president of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection, urged the government to “harmonize” the 50% capacity limit and the one-meter social distancing rule in public transport.
“Kapag ipapatupad mo sa jeep ‘yong one-meter social distance, hindi na aabot ng 50% ‘yon. Siguro ilan lang ang mga pasahero noon, marami na siguro ang lima o anim dahil isang metro eh,” Inton said.
PNP-HPG apprehends jeepneys not following 1-meter distancing
“‘Yon siguro ang linawin. Let’s do away with the 50% na passenger capacity and strictly implement the one-meter social distance or ‘yong 50% okay ‘yan but with additional safety health protocols katulad noong ginagawang example sa eroplano, may health filter,” he added.
Inton added there should be more PUVs available to transport commuters and to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
“‘Yong mga pinapababa kasi (dahil hindi naipatupad and one-meter social distancing), ilan silang pinababa tapos dikit-dikit din sila sa kalye dahil pinababa mo eh,” he said.
“Wala naman masasakyan so ’yon ang mga sinasabi natin na ‘yong implementasyon sala sa lamig, sala sa init kaya ang mga pasahero nagiging kawawa,” he added.
The reduction of social distancing aims to “optimize” and increase the carrying capacity of public transport vehicles, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier said.
The physical distancing was supposed to be lessened from one meter to 0.75 meters and could be reduced further starting September 28 and to 0.3 meters beginning October 12.