Pinoy ingenuity shines amid pandemic

BAGUIO. Jeepney drivers in Baguio City use plastic sheets to maintain physical distancing as a precautionary measure against the threat of Covid-19. (Lauren Alimondo)

PUBLIC utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers in Baguio City are finding ways on how to make their passengers feel safe amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) threat.

Joker Mangili, 27, installed straws and plastic sheets as dividers inside his jeepney for his passengers to maintain physical distancing amid the pandemic.

His fellow drivers then followed suit.

Mangili, jeepney driver for Campo Sioco, said the seats were covered with clear plastic sheets to avoid exposure from Covid-19.

Archie Loyosen, president of the Campo Sioco, BGH Compound, Balsigan, Philam, Happy Homes Jeepney Operators Drivers Association (CABPHSJODA), also made use of plastic sheets as dividers to maintain physical distancing inside his jeepney.

Until the global pandemic ends, both Loyosen and Mangili want to keep the dividers in place.

The Summer Capital is still under enhanced community quarantine, which will end on May 15.

On May 1, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) released guidelines for public transportation for areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Based on Memorandum Circular 2020-017, public transportation will still be operating in a limited capacity.

The board also adopted and set guidelines wherein PUJ's load should not exceed 50 percent of the vehicle's capacity and passengers must be seated one seat apart.

"The passenger seat beside the driver may be occupied by one passenger provided the driver compartment is sealed off by non-permeable transparent barrier and there is no conductor present during the trip," the guidelines stated.

PUJs granted with special permits must also comply with several conditions.

Under the guideline, drivers and conductors must wear gloves and masks at all times while commuters must also abide with the 'no mask, no ride' policy.

For PUJ and UV Express, the driver compartment should be sealed off from the passenger area using a non-permeable, transparent material. In such case, PUJ and UV Express may be allowed to take on one passenger on the driver's row.

The LTFRB added that physical distancing must at all times be observed inside the public utility vehicles.

The agency said once the driver or conductor show symptoms of Covid-19, they are not allowed to report to work and will be subjected to immediate quarantine.


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