The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday said it is ready to implement a proposal from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to increase the passenger capacity of public transport vehicles from 50 percent to 75 percent.
In a statement, the DOTr said the proposal will be implemented once approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) “and as directed by the Cabinet.”
“We leave the NEDA proposal to the evaluation of the IATF being the primary agency tasked to formulate plans and rules during this period of the pandemic as the country moves forward towards the new normal,” the DOTr said.
Regardless of the decision of the IATF-EID and the Cabinet on the increase in passenger capacity, the DOTr said strict health protocols will be “observed and enforced” in public transport vehicles and facilities such as terminals to prevent transmission of Covid-19.
On Tuesday, NEDA Director-General Karl Chua recommended the expansion of public transport capacity to 75 percent from the current “one-seat-apart” policy to allow more people to return to work to support the country’s economic recovery.
This, aside from the recommendation to place the entire country under modified general community quarantine by March 1 to address hunger and income losses caused by the prolonged restrictions brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.