Cebu City PUV drivers, operators also told to adapt ‘open-air’ policy; ‘encouraged to secure air purifiers’

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | August 16,2021 - 11:35 AM

| Inquirer file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines -Drivers and operators of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) in Cebu City were also told to adapt an ‘open-air’ policy and were ‘encouraged’ to use air purifiers.

These regulations are contained in Executive Order (EO) No. 137 titled Oplan Puyo which acting Mayor Michael Rama signed on Sunday, August 15.

Oplan Puyo reiterated restrictions, like the mandatory stay-at-home orders, particularly for minors below 15 years old and senior citizens age 65 years and above, in areas under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) such as Cebu City.

Residents are only allowed to go out for urgent trips and work purposes.

Section 32 of the 13-page EO also ordered operators of PUVs plying routes in the city to implement an “Open-Windows” policy which was first introduced by the Cebu Provincial Government.

“All drivers of public utility buses (PUBs), vans-for-hire (v-hires), modernized and traditional public utility jeepneys (MPUJs and TPUJs), public utility vehicles (PUVs), taxis, transport network vehicle service (TNVS), and shuttle are required to open their windows when carrying passengers. As an alternative, the operators may open the doors without compromising safety of all passengers,” portions of the EO read.

Operators of airconditioned PUVs, on the other hand, were “encouraged to secure and provide air purifiers with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and ionizers with a capacity proportionate to the area of the vehicle; or must reduce passenger capacity.”

PUV operators and drivers were given 72 hours to comply with the new rules.

“Failure to comply with this requirement shall bar the owner or operators from plying on streets and taking passengers,” the EO added.

The provincial Capitol here was the first to issue a memorandum, instructing PUV operators to secure air purifiers should they operate airconditioned vehicles.

The memorandum, signed by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, took effect on Monday, August 16. The move, however, has drawn criticisms from netizens and PISTON-Cebu.

It can be recalled that the Department of Health (DOH), last October 2020, released an advisory, stating that they do not recommend the use of air purifiers as means to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Cebu City’s MECQ status has been extended up to August 30.

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TAGS: air purifiers, Cebu City, Eo No. 137, open-windows policy

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