No travel pass needed for essential workers in provincial buses

No travel pass needed for essential workers in provincial buses

MANILA – Medical front-liners and those working in vital industries are exempted from the travel authority requirement especially if they are living in the provinces and working in Metro Manila, the Joint Task Force Covid Shield said on Wednesday.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, task force head, made the clarification amid confusion over reports that all passengers need to present a travel authority before boarding provincial buses bound for Metro Manila that were allowed to resume operations.

Eleazar said the National Task Force on Covid-19 chaired by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has always maintained that the travel protocols are relaxed for medical front-liners and workers of companies and industries for the economy to continue run amid the difficulties brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

“They are considered as the backbone of our economy and our response against the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in these trying times. As per Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año, their travel must be less restricted since they play a key role in the effective response of the government on Covid-19),” said Eleazar in a statement.

Año earlier said the welfare of medical front liners and workers of permitted industries have always been a priority in the crafting and implementation of policies that would affect them, especially on their travel to work and back home.

“We would like to remind the bus companies that all that medical front liners and workers of industries that were given clearance to operate during community quarantine only have to present valid identification cards or Certificate of Employment proving that their travel is work-related,” said Eleazar.

He said the travel authority is only required for the locally stranded individuals (LSIs)and Unauthorized Persons Outside of Residence (UPORs).

A medical clearance certificate from city and municipal health office and prior coordination with the receiving local government units are needed before a travel authority is issued to LSIs and UPORs. (PNA)

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