Jun 8, 2020

It’s been a week since work resumed in NCR under general community quarantine (GCQ). It has also been a week since commuters rushed out of their homes only to find they have no transpo options to take to work, resulting in hours of waiting and anguish.

[READ: LOOK: Commuters with no transpo options struggle on first day back to work as NCR shifts to GCQ]

Commonwealth Ave. QC Miguel Camus Inquirer
People waiting for a ride on Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City. No jeepneys and UV express. The few buses that stopped were shuttle services. Photo by Miguel Camus/Inquirer

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)  on Sunday, June 7, said they don’t want this to happen again on the second week back to work, so they are postponing the implementation of modified number coding scheme, which was originally set to take effect today, June 8.

“Napakadami po nating mga kababayan pa din po ang nahihirapan sumakay. Ayaw na po muna natin sila mabigyan ng dagdag iisipin sa ngayon,” said MMDA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago.

Pialago said the decision is due to the fact that MMDA is still ironing out details of public utility vehicle routes with the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

nino jesus orbeta inquirer bus ncr gcq
Last week, the Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board announced new bus routes to ease commuting for workers. Photo by Niño Jesus Orbeta/Inquirer

Last week, only transport network vehicle services, point-to-point buses and private company shuttle services were allowed to ply the roads to transport workers, complementing MRT, LRT and PNR’s reduced operating capacity.

Under modified number coding scheme, vehicles which plate numbers are barred from traveling can pass through given they are accompanied by at least one passenger. This was part of the Metro Manila Council’s recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases a week prior to NCR easing of quarantine measures.

[READ: Metro Manila mayors recommend NCR transition to GCQ with modified coding, localized lockdown]

Last week, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia came under fire for blaming commuters for the chaos that ensued on the first day back to work.

[READ: Commuters were stranded at roads on first day of GCQ, but MMDA blames them for chaos]

“They were focused on traveling even though they [knew], just as the Department of Transportation said, our first priority is health and safety,” Garcia said in a radio interview.

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno lambasted this remark through a tweet saying, “’Wag nyo ipasa sa taumbayan ang pagkukulang nyo sa plano. ”You had 77 days to prepare, inuna nyo pa ang mga nagpo-post sa FB at Anti-Terror Bill. Tapos sisisihin ang masa? Kayo ang problema, hindi sila. ’Pag maayos ang sistema, may disiplina. ’Pag malinaw ang plano, susunod ang tao.⁣”



Header photo courtesy of Grig Montegrande/Inquirer

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⁣⁣Commuters in GCQ areas expect new bus routes this week and more on Monday

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TAGS: commute dotr gcq jojo garcia MMDA modified number coding scheme ncr