Labor group urges lifting of public transport ban during modified ECQ
MANILA, Philippines – Kilusang Mayo Uno urged the government to lift the ban on mass transportation, as businesses reopen under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) on Saturday, May 16.
In a statement, KMU raised that workers will find it hard to travel to work without public transport. Business groups earlier said that there was no assurance establishments will be able to provide shuttles for workers.
"If government and business want to resume operations, they should provide transportation for workers. Workers cannot be made to suffer from walking for hours over long distances," KMU secretary general Jerome Adonis said.
"Companies should provide transportation to workers, but public transportation is really key to enable workers traverse major thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Aside from trains and buses, public utility jeepneys are also needed at least for collector roads," Adonis added.
Under the guidelines, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases only allowed hired shuttles as mode of transportation, apart from private vehicles and bikes.
In April, the Management Association of the Philippines proposed to the IATF and the Department of Transportation to allow buses and trains to operate, for the use of the Metro Manila's skeleton workforce. This proposal did not prosper.
Metro Manila, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, Angeles City, and Laguna transitioned to the MECQ on Saturday, where some measures, such as economic activity and movement of people, are somewhat relaxed. (IN PHOTOS: Busy streets, mall activity as quarantine measures ease in PH)
Only Cebu City and Mandaue City remained under ECQ until May 31, unless modified or extended. The rest of the country is under the general community quarantine (GCQ).
As of Saturday, Philippines has 12,305 coronavirus cases, 817 of whom succumbed to the disease. – Rappler.com