THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 has apprehended the drivers of 77 public utility buses and public utility jeepneys in Cebu as of Aug. 3, 2021, the third day of the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), for failure to implement the minimum health and safety protocol.
LTFRB 7 director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said majority of the apprehensions were due to overloading or non-observance of physical distancing among passengers, and non-wearing of masks and face shields.
He also said most of those public transportation units flagged down for these violations are those plying to and from Talisay City and Lapu-Lapu City.
He said the imposition of the minimum health protocol in public transportation is not optional and violations for such have corresponding penalties.
He said first time violators are given five days to explain after the LTFRB 7 has issued show cause orders.
However, for repeat violators, he said they can be meted a fine of up to P5,000.
The LTFRB 7 then emphasized the “Seven Commandments Inside Public Transport” in times of pandemic.
These include the “no face mask, no face shield, no ride” policy, the “no talking and no telephone calls” and “no eating” policy.
Proper ventilation and the conduct of frequent disinfection should also be observed by public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and drivers, in addition to the practice of social distancing and declining passengers with Covid-19 symptoms.
Meanwhile, the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) has warned drivers, conductors and passengers of PUVs that it will strictly implement the mandate of the Inter-Agency Task Force to operate at only 75 percent capacity.
The CCTO said this due to the spike in Covid-19 cases.
It has been confirmed that there are now 32 cases of the Delta variant which is more transmissible.
According to the CCTO, those who will violate the mandate will be either detained or fined P500.
The holding area in the north is the Cogon Ramos Gym, while the holding area in the west is the Labangon Gym.
The CCTO said modern jeepneys should also keep their windows and doors open, while taxis have to lower their windows to five inches as experts have found that the particles of the Delta variant can linger in the air for up to 16 hours in closed spaces. (WBS, REV / CCP)