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Public transport to revert back to ECQ and MECQ standards on June 17

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | June 16,2020 - 04:21 PM

On the first day of the Cebu City’s upgrade back to Enhanced Community Quarantine on June 16, 2020, buses are still seen picking up passengers along N. Bacalso Avenue, Barangay Mambaling. CDN Digital photo | Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Public transport will once again be limited as Cebu City upgrades to an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Talisay City upgrades to Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) starting today, June 16, 2020.

In a phone interview with CDN Digital, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) Director Eduardo Montealto, Jr. said that those who were granted special permits under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) may be revoked.

This is because the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) guidelines state the cutting down of public transport down to the essentials only.

There are at least 18 routes granted for bus operators in Cebu City, while at least five routes have been granted for bus operators in Talisay City.

Awaiting the implementation of the ECQ and MECQ in the two cities, the LTFRB-7 is allowing the entry of public transport from outside the two affected cities.

“Naa pa man guy nanrabaho, so ato lang sa iallow ubang buses nga makasulod. Pero ugma ug depende sa decision sa local chief executive, limit na gyod nato ang entry,” said Montealto.

(There are still people going to work today so we allowed some buses to enter. However, starting tomorrow and depending on the decision of the local chief executive, we will definitely limit entry.)

Bus terminal

Still, buses and shuttle services commissioned by the city government will remain. They will take the route they previously took during the ECQ with certain changes.

Montealto said they are not keen on transferring the temporary bus terminal at Lantaw in Talisay City since it was established even before the GCQ, and is currently the most viable place for the South Bus Terminal.

However, he said this decision is up to Cebu Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

As for trans-city bus operations such as the Mybus, which traverses both Cebu City and Talisay City, there may also be changes in their operations.

“They were used as shuttle services before, so perhaps they can be shuttle services again. We will see,” said Montealto.

Montealto assured that the buses can still go for one last round today, but tomorrow, June 17, 2020, the bus operators shall need another special permit to run under the ECQ and MECQ.

For this reason, he urged the businesses who are not allowed to open under the ECQ to close down today and allow their employees to go home before the public transport has been suspended or cut down. /bmjo

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