Commuters will not have a hard time catching a ride despite Metro Manila being placed under the stricter Alert Level 3 classification. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that public utility vehicles (PUVs) will be allowed to continue operating at a maximum of 70% passenger capacity even under the Alert Level 3.
According to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, the 70% maximum passenger capacity will remain in NCR to keep pace with the demand for public transport. However, PUV operators, drivers, and passengers must follow the minimum health protocols and the 70% maximum capacity or face violations, fines, and penalties. The agency adds that PUV drivers that do not enforce protocols could have their driver's licenses suspended.
DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor adds that road sector agencies will be deployed to enforce the 70% maximum passenger capacity in PUVs.
“The DOTr Road Sector will make sure that the maximum passenger capacity is strictly followed. As COVID-19 cases increase in the NCR, we are urging our transport stakeholders, especially the riding public, to observe health protocols, and to be wary of PUVs not following the allowable capacity. This is the only way we can help in reducing the number of infections,” said Pastor.
Meanwhile, Tugade reminds the public to follow the “7 Commandments for Public Transport”. These include wearing face masks, no talking, no eating, keeping PUVs well ventilated, conducting frequent disinfection, no passengers with COVID symptoms, and observing physical distancing.
The announcement of retaining 70% maximum public capacity comes as good news for commuters who need to get around Metro Manila.