Public transport in NCR Plus bubble operational during ECQ

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 28) — Mass transportation will keep running during the enhanced community quarantine imposed over the NCR Plus bubble, the government assured on Sunday.

In a virtual briefing, Transport Assistant Secretary Mark Steven C. Pastor said public utility vehicles can ply the roads of the Greater Manila area at 50% maximum capacity, or one seat apart, servicing authorized persons outside of residences (APORs) during the week-long lockdown.

The national government late on Saturday said Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will be placed under the strictest quarantine control starting tomorrow until April 4.

"Ang public transportation ay tuloy-tuloy pero ang lahat ng papasada ay allowed lang magsakay ng up to 50% of their maximum passenger capacity," he said.

[Translation: Public transportation will continue operating, but all vehicles are only allowed to carry up to 50% of their maximum passenger capacity.]

They are also exempted from curfews during the period, he noted.

Public utility vehicles include buses, UV Express, jeepneys, shuttle services, tricycles, taxis, and transport network vehicle services.

Motorcycle taxis have also the go signal to continue their operations. Private motorcycle back-riding is also allowed, provided that the passenger is an essential worker.

The list of APOR includes medical practitioners; persons in the security services, funeral services, and emergency services; daily essential workers like public market vendors and employees of banks, groceries or convenience stores, pharmacies, and restaurants; employees of cable and internet service providers, energy companies, and water companies; and garbage collectors, among others.

Individuals who are not essential workers will not be allowed to board PUVs.

Meanwhile, railway systems will also be up and running. But in observance of the Holy Week and to push for the annual maintenance works of the lines, operations for some days will be shut down.

“The regular annual holy week preventive maintenance shutdown of all lines will continue as programmed. Lines 1 and 2 will stop operations on Wednesday, the MRT-3, Tuesday, and the PNR will run until Thursday,” Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John R. Batan said.

For the aviation sector, Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo Arcilla, who was also present at the virtual presser, said the international inbound passenger capacity at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will remain at 1,500 flyers a day.

Domestic and international operations of air carriers will also be limited to essential travelers.

“In our thorough study about the air sector, we don’t see the need to reduce the capacity of airlines because current operations are at 30 percent from pre-COVID capacity and average load factor is at 50 percent,” Arcilla said.

Philippine Ports Authority general manager Jay Santiago, meanwhile, said vessels are allowed to operate at 50% capacity.