MANILA – The police force’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) has been directed to assist and coordinate with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) regarding the 30-day pilot study on the gradual increase in passenger capacity in public transport.
In a statement on Monday, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said part of the HPG’s assistance is to ensure that minimum public health standards are strictly observed by commuters.
This came after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the increase in the operational capacity of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and railways from the current 50 percent to 70 percent in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal starting November 4.
“In this latest development in the transportation sector, traditional jeepneys will be allowed to accommodate an additional four to five passengers while modern jeepneys may accommodate standing passengers. Moreover, public utility buses can allow standing passengers although the one-seat-apart policy remains,” he added.
Eleazar said the pilot study would determine if public transportation could already resume full operations amid the pandemic.
The PNP chief reminded commuters to continue observing the health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus in public utility vehicles. (PNA)