PASSENGER capacity in public utility vehicles (PUV) is still at 70 percent after the announcement of the recent elevation of Davao City to Alert Level 3.

Mizarah S. Arraz, Admin Officer V of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Davao, said on Thursday, January 13, there is still no directive from the central office to reduce the allowable capacity for PUVs.

“Memorandum Circular 2021-76 still applies, which allows a 70 percent capacity for areas with more than 30% vaccination rate,” said Arraz.

Memorandum Circular 2021-076 states that from December 9, 2021 to January 4, 2022, 50 to 70 percent passenger capacity is allowed in regions with more than 30 percent vaccination rate, including Davao Region.

Additionally, face shields and barriers are also not required for the meantime.

“On face shields and PUV barriers, as of this far, no new directives yet from the Board. Regional Office Order No. 11 Series of 2021 allowing No barriers and No Face shields is still applicable,” said Arraz.

Meanwhile, Department Order 2022-001 has been issued, preventing unvaccinated people from public transportation in and out of the National Capital Region.

According to the LTFRB-Davao official, they have not received any directives if this will also be implemented in Davao City.

“We are still waiting for Memorandum Circular for other Regions which are now on Alert Level 3, as of the moment no circular has been issued,” said Arraz.

Alert Level 3

Following a spike in Covid-19 cases, Davao City is back to Alert Level 3 effective Friday, January 14, until January 31.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) announced on Wednesday, January 12, that Davao City is among the 28 areas in the country to be elevated to Alert Level 3.

Davao City is the lone area in Davao Region to be placed under a semi-strict alert level classification following the increase of active Covid-19 cases in nearly two weeks.

On January 12, the city logged its highest new cases in a single day for the year 2022 with 243 cases. This brought the city's active cases to 811 in just a span of 12 days.

Meanwhile, the city's total confirmed cases are already at 54,700, wherein 52,094 have recovered and 1,795 had died.

According to IATF Resolution 155, the following activities are prohibited under Alert Level 3: face-to-face classes for basic education; contact sports (except those under bubble-type setup as approved by IATF), funfair and kid amusement industries; karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theatres; casinos, horse racing, cockfighting, operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops and other gaming establishments; and social gatherings where individuals do not belong in the same household.

The city was placed under Alert Level 2 on November 1, 2021, following the decline of active cases, which resulted in the decongestion of hospital utilization.

This had prompted the Davao City government to lift the mandatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results to all travelers entering the city effective November 16, 2021.

Meanwhile, the rest of Davao Region is still under Alert Level 2 until the end of the month. (With RGL)