Air purifiers just ‘band-aid’ solutions, says Cebu transpo group

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | August 15,2021 - 04:30 PM
air purifier

A personal air purifier

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A group of jeepney drivers here in Cebu expressed disagreement with the Capitol’s orders to make air purifiers mandatory in public transportation.

The Pagkakaisa nga mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide-Cebu (Piston-Cebu), in a press release issued on Sunday, August 15, 2021, said air purifiers are just ‘band-aid’ solutions in addressing spread of COVID-19 in public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Greg Perez, chairperson of Piston – Cebu, said having air purifiers inside public utility jeepneys (PUJs) meant additional expenses on the part of operators, drivers, and conductors.

Perez also said should the local government will push on strictly enforcing mandates on air purifiers, these should be given free.

“Ang kining air purifier usa ka band-aid solution lamang…Aduna pa tay krisis gi-atubang karon sa pandemya. Pila ka buwan walay kita ang mga driver tungod sa lockdown ug sa mga bag-ong polisiya sa pampublikong transportasyon. Ang air purifier dugang lamang kini nga gasto sa amoang mga driver ug konduktor,” he explained.

(The air purifier is a mere band-aid solution. The drivers have had no income for many months because of the lockdown and the new policies imposed on public transportation. The air purifier is just an additional expense on the part of the drivers and conductors.)

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has issued a memorandum, ordering operators of PUV to make sure drivers and conductors have wearable air purifiers.

Garcia’s orders will take effect this Monday, August 16, 2021.

But according to Perez, what operators of PUVs needed is to expedite the national government’s COVID-19 inoculation drive, and to waive fees for undergoing swab tests.

PUV operators, drivers, and conductors belonged to the A4 priority subgroup of the Philippine National Deployment Plan for COVID-19 vaccines.

A4 refers to non-medical essential workers. Rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in for individuals qualified under A4 has begun since June.

It can also be recalled that the Department of Health (DOH), during the COVID-19 pandemic’s early stages in 2020, did not recommend the use of ‘necklace air purifiers’ as means to prevent the transmission of the virus.

 

DOH said there is not enough evidence and data to prove the effectiveness of air purifiers in curbing the spread of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.

/bmjo

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TAGS: air purifier, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, COVID-19, Greg Perez, PISTON Cebu, PUV

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