DOTr asks transport operators to do part in stopping Covid spread

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The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is calling on the operators and drivers of public transport vehicles to be serious and be extra diligent in the disinfection of their vehicles as part of health protocols against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“The proper disinfection of public transport vehicles is a key factor in keeping our commuters safe from Covid-19. We should not be hasty in the cleaning and disinfection of our vehicles. The riding public trusts us that the jeepneys, the buses and the other public transport vehicles that we operate are safe, and virus-free,” said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Tugade made the appeal after a recent viral video uploaded on Facebook showed how two cleaning staffers of the MRT-3 were shown to be hastily and playfully disinfecting one of the line’s trains.

Immediately following the incident, the MRT-3 management implemented measures to prevent a repeat of the incident. The staffers involved are now also facing disciplinary action.

Tugade stressed that as frontline service providers, operators and drivers of public transport vehicles should always be aware of the major role they play in containing the spread of Covid-19.

“As operators and drivers of public transport vehicles, you do not only bring passengers from their homes to their workplaces and back. You are also given the responsibility to make sure that they are healthy and safe when they arrive at their destinations,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Transport Secretary also appealed to the riding public to actively participate in containing the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19. Tugade said passengers can do their share strictly complying to health protocols implemented in public transport, and by reporting to authorities any breach of health protocols such as fellow passengers who will talk or eat inside vehicles, improperly wear masks and face shields and not follow the strict physical distancing rule.

“Let us do our share by reporting immediately to the proper authorities any breach of health protocols that are committed inside public transport vehicles by your fellow passengers. We are all in this fight together,” Tugade said.

Commuters who may have witnessed any violation of health protocols inside public transport vehicles are advised to immediately contact the Land Transportation Office, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT), rail transport operators, and air and maritime sector authorities.

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