DAVAO

Buses from Luzon allowed entry in Davao City

File photo by Macky Lim

DESPITE the continuing increase of Covid-19 cases, buses coming from Luzon will now be allowed to enter Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said.

Duterte-Carpio said on Friday, September 25, in a radio interview via 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio that the City Government already approved the entry of buses from Luzon to the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT).

"Ideally, unta kung daghan og positive sa ing-ana nga lugar, di gyud ta musugot nga naa musulod, but dili siya sustainable na solution sa problema sa Covid-19 (Ideally, we won't allow anyone, coming from an area with high transmission of Covid-19 cases, to enter our city. It is not a sustainable solution to our Covid-19 problem)," the mayor said.

The mayor added that this is part of the city's plan of gradually normalizing the transportation coming in and out of the city.

Based on the Department of Health's (DOH) daily Covid-19 bulletin, National Capital Region (NCR) remains to be the top region with the most number of new cases per day.

Although the NCR is now under general community quarantine (GCQ), the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is currently discussing lowering its quarantine status to modified GCQ (MGCQ).

The mayor said the city will be adapting the Davao Airport's "test and wait" health screening protocol in the bus trips coming from Luzon.

The Test and Wait is the city's effort in detecting more Covid-19 individuals arriving at the airport.

Air passengers are required to secure a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result before they are allowed to leave the airport. Those who do not have an RT-PCR will be tested in the airport and will be transferred to the city's waiting facility while awaiting their test result.

Passengers who tested positive for the Sars-CoV-2 will be immediately brought to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) for further health assessment.

Same as air passengers, bus travelers from Luzon will be obliged to observe the strict 14-day home quarantine.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Davao Region (LTFRB-Davao) Director Armand Dioso, meanwhile, told SunStar Davao in a radio interview that as of now, they cannot give a specific date on the land travel's possible resumption.

Philtranco is the only bus company that travels from Luzon to Davao.

Dioso said they are still coordinating with the different local government units that Philtranco's bus will be traversing at, particularly in Sorsogon, Samar, Leyte, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte.

"Kinahanglan nga makig-coordinate ta ani nila kay basin ilang i-hold ang mga buses (There is a need to coordinate with them because they might hold the entry of the buses)," he said.

He said LTFRB-Davao already sent its recommendation to the central office for approval.

In their coordination with the Davao City Government, Dioso said three buses from Luzon can be catered.

Once approved, the official said there will be designated drop off points.

Bus operators will not be allowed to pick up passengers outside the drop off points.

At present, Caraga Region is the only region that allows bus travel to and from Davao Region.


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