The Department of Transportation has ordered the strict implementation of health protocols in public transport vehicles and terminals nationwide as COVID cases have spiked recently.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade directed enforcers from the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, as well as train marshals to ensure that proper social distancing is being observed in public transport vehicles and terminals.
Transport marshals were ordered to ensure that commuters entering terminals and boarding public transport are using masks and face shields, and to remind commuters not to talk or eat while commuting. Tugade instructed public transport operators to ensure that their vehicles are safe and properly disinfected.
The DOTr also reminded commuters to vigilant against those breaking health protocols as enforcers and marshals could not be on the lookout all the time.
Passengers who have symptoms or had exposure to patients who tested positive for COVID-19 are advised not to risk going out.
Drivers and operators found to be negligent will be fined or their provisional authority or certificates of public convenience will be revoked.
The Philippines will be celebrating its first anniversary of lockdowns and quarantines but these new crackdowns makes it feel like we are regressing instead of improving. However, because Filipinos still cannot count life normalizing as government’s promised mass vaccination program has only started symbolically with a paltry quantity of donated vaccines; we have no other choice but to obey, be careful, and be on high alert once more, especially when in public.
While we may put our hope on vaccination finally making life better, we cannot count on it just yet. We still have to do everything we have been doing in the past year, with renewed gusto, if we and our country is to stand a chance against the COVID-19 pandemic.*