Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto: Why not tricycles as emergency, health workers’ transpo?
MANILA, Philippines — If the national government allows the use of private vehicles and shuttle buses during the enhanced community quarantine, why won’t it allow the use of tricycles?
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto posed the question Thursday after a Palace official disapproved calls to allow tricycles to ferry passengers, including health workers during the quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
“Hindi po ba pumapayag sila kung kunwari private car magsshuttle or ano. Ganoon din po ‘yun e,” Sotto said in an interview on dzBB.
(Isn’t it that they allow the use of private cars or shuttle buses? It’s just the same.)
“’Yung tricycle nga po open air e. And yung proposal po sana namin, hanggang maximum of two. Isa sa body, isa sa backride. Kung hindi po kailangan ng companion nung pasyente, mag-isa lang po. May social distancing po doon,” added Sotto.
(Tricycles are open air. And our proposal is that there should only be a maximum of two passengers—one in the sidecar and one backrider. If the patient does not need a companion, there’s only one passenger. There’s social distancing there.)
Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said the government is not keen on allowing tricycles to operate, citing the lack of space for social distancing.
Under an enhanced community quarantine, all modes of mass transportation are not allowed.
The government, however, deployed shuttle buses and military trucks to ferry commuters, especially those working the front lines, who were exempted from the strict quarantine measure.
The IATF suggested that local government units (LGUs) provide other modes of transportation for the health workers and residents who need medical assistance.
“Meron pa po yung emergency situation na eskinita. Hindi po kasya ang ambulansya dito. Hindi po kasya ang bus o jeep dito,” Sotto pointed out.
(There are emergency situations in narrow streets. Ambulances won’t fit. Buses or jeepneys won’t fit.)
Nonetheless, Sotto clarified that Pasig City is not defying the national government and he is only giving them an idea of what they see on the ground.
“Kung ano naman po yung sabihin nila, we will defer to their wisdom, susunod naman po kami. Hindi po kami nakikipagtalo,” Sotto said.
(Whatever they say, we will defer to their wisdom. We will follow. We are not arguing.)
“May pinapakita lang kami, may sinasabi lang kami na baka hindi nila na-take into consideration bilang kami yung nakakakita on the ground,” he added.
(We are showing something, we are saying something, which they possible haven’t taken into consideration since we are the ones seeing it on the ground.)
Enhanced community quarantine means “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated; and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”
Health officials have so far recorded 202 cases of COVID-19 in the country and 17 deaths.
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