DILG clarifies tricycles and bicycles still banned in GCQ and MGCQ areas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 4) – The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) clarified on Thursday that tricycles and pedicabs remain banned on national highways in all areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the decision was reached after consulting with DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and Department of Transportation Secretary Art Tugade.

Malaya said only road clearing operations are suspended and the department has no power to prohibit tricycles and pedicabs from roads as the law provides that local government units (LGUs) govern these transport vehicles.

"What we suspended is the Road Clearing Operation 2.0 because of COVID-19, but it will be only temporary," Malaya said in a statement.

But the DILG pointed out that its previously issued circulars ban tricycles and pedicabs from plying in national highways.

“Operation of tricycles are only allowed in secondary roads and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has a directive of only one-passenger and no back-ride in these vehicles in all GCQ and MGCQ areas,” Año said.

The DILG chief also reiterated the pronouncement of Roque that mayors may not give authorization in allowing back-ride in GCQ and MGCQ localities in line with the directive of the IATF-EID.

Año also reminded tricycle drivers to observe health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The government understands the need for transportation, but we need to follow physical distancing and other health and safety protocols because the threat of COVID-19 is still there," he stressed. "We should not be complacent.”

Malaya emphasized that drivers must wear face masks or face shields, gloves, and allow only one passenger per trip in observance of physical distancing except during a medical emergency wherein the patient needs to be accompanied.

The DILG also reminds LGUs that all forms of public transport vehicles, terminals, and facilities must be regularly disinfected.

To promote physical distancing, the DILG ordered all public utility vehicles and private vehicles to only cater 50% of their seating capacity. Physical distancing also must be observed in queueing for boarding the vehicle and upon entering the PUV terminals.

Malaya also assured that transportation for medical frontliners will be continuously provided.

“Priority shall be given to medical frontliners in terms of access to public transportation, which should include free transport services, provision of government transportation, and priority in terminals and in PUVs,” he said in reference to the department’s Memorandum Circular 2020-083.

Tricycles and pedicabs have been allowed to operate since June 1 as Metro Manila and nearby provinces shifted into a more relaxed GCQ setup.