Manila e-trikes different from Pasig’s tricycles on ‘limited trips’ – Año
MANILA, Philippines – Why did the national government allow the City of Manila to deploy electronic tricycles (e-trikes) during the coronavirus lockdown, when it earlier stopped Pasig City from letting conventional tricycles make limited trips for health workers and the sick?
"Hindi sila pumapasada (They don't ply routes). They are on the spot system to pick up the health workers. Specific. Hindi yung pumi-pick up ka ng pasahero (They don't pick up passengers)," he said in a media briefing in Malacañang.
Second, it would have been impossible to really limit trips tricycles make: allow a few to go around and others will follow, Año added.
All modes of public transportation are banned during the “enhanced community quarantine” to “make it hard for people to move so they will stay at home.”
“My job is to make people stay at home,” Año said.
Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto initially allowed tricycles on “limited trips” around his city to service health workers, employees of essential establishments, and the infirm who do not have access to private cars – people exempted from the lockdown.
Based on a risk assessment, more people could die without transportation to hospitals or health centers, Sotto said.
Tricycles were seen as a viable alternative to the city government’s buses and shuttles, which the mayor said were not enough to service the thousands of people who still need to get around every day, and who have legitimate reasons to be traveling during the lockdown.
Tricycles were also the only mode of transportation that can navigate Pasig’s narrow streets and alleys, which would be handy in cases of emergency, the Pasig mayor said.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles shot down Sotto’s suggestion on Wednesday, saying social distancing – keeping ample personal space to prevent contagion — could not be practiced in tricycles, even though Sotto already pointed out that it could be done by limiting the number of passengers on every trip.
Metro Manila has at least 270,000 tricycles, Año said. If tricycles were allowed in Pasig, there would be no reason to ban them in other places.
Supposing only 100,000 tricycles return to the streets on limited trips, the interior secretary said that would still be too many, and it would encourage people to go outdoors when they should be on quarantine.
“I don’t want the [police and military] to check 100,000 tricycles every moment just to check kung who is on them. I’d rather have them focus their efforts on keeping people at home,” Año said.
The entire island of Luzon, with its more than 57 million people, is on lockdown until April 12. Metro Manila will remain under lockdown until April 14. The measure is meant to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The Philippines has 217 confirmed cases of the virus, 17 deaths, and 8 recoveries.
Across the globe, more than 217,500 people have contracted the disease. More than 9,000 people have died of it, as the virus hit 157 countries. – Rappler.com
Editor's Note: A previous version of this report said there are now over 79,000 deaths due to the coronavirus. The correct figure is more than 9,000.