Sep 17, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Economic Development Cluster (EDC)’s proposal on reduced social distancing on public transportation may have already been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), but that doesn’t mean Malacañang doesn’t have anything to say about it. 

In a televised palace briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that President Rodrigo Duterte will have the final say regarding reduced social distancing on public utility vehicles (PUVs). 

According to Roque, the president is due to make his pronouncement on the reduced social distancing policy on Monday, Sept. 21. The decision was expected to be made public earlier, but according to the spokesperson, the president is still waiting on the report on the proposed measures in order to make his decision. 

Maaalala niyo po na sinabi ko na baka today po ang decision ni Presidente, baka hindi po mangyari ‘yan dahil ang report po na pag-aaralan ni Presidente ay isusumite pa lamang ngayong araw,” said Roque.

Until the president makes his (hopefully on-time) decision on Monday, commuters can rest assured that the one-meter social distancing protocols will still be strictly enforced


Prior to this turn of events, Department of Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade announced that they’ll slowly be easing the social distancing measures  from the current one meter, to 0.75m and then eventually 0.5m and 0.3m respectively. 

The scaling back of social distancing guidelines were also approved by a panel of medical experts, but not without clauses. The panel forwarded a “more comprehensive” list of guidelines dubbed the “7 Commandments” to help keep passengers safe. 

The released guidelines are as follows: 

  1. Wearing of proper face masks
  2. Wearing of face shields
  3. No talking and no eating
  4. Adequate ventilation
  5. Frequent and proper disinfection
  6. No symptomatic passengers
  7. Appropriate physical distancing

For now, we’re all just hoping to be awake to catch the president’s decision. 


Header photo courtesy of DOTr Facebook page

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TAGS: Arthur Tugade covid-19 dotr Duterte Harry Roque IATF-EID mrt covid-19 mrt-3 covid-19 guidelines Public Utility Vehicles PUV covid-19 guidelines PUVs social distancing social distancing guidelines