Lack of transport toughens GCQ transition for Cebu City workers
CEBU CITY—Workers struggled to reach their factories, stores, shops or offices on Monday (June 1) with public transportation remaining scarce despite the easing of a lockdown against coronavirus transmission.
Commuters endured long lines and extended waiting time at bus stops just to get to work at the start of the city’s transition to general community quarantine (GCQ), supposedly a less restrictive version of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Point-to-point buses were operating but taxis, public vans and jeepneys—the main mode of transportation for many commuters—were nowhere to be found.
Eduardo Montealto Jr., Central Visayas director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said public transport operators were still busy processing their special permits to resume operations.
He said he expected these operators to be able to deploy their public utility vehicles by Wednesday (June 3) or “later this week.”
“At the moment, I appeal to our commuters to be patient,” he added.
Mayor Edgardo Labella allowed buses, jeepneys, modern jeepneys, taxis, vans and transport network vehicle services to resume operations under GCQ but only with 50-percent capacity and strict compliance with health protocols like wearing of face masks and gloves.
Motorcycles are still not allowed to carry passengers.
Light to moderate traffic was noted in most parts of Cebu City as many people returned to work after being restricted to their homes since March 28.
Random police checkpoints were still set up to make sure people heeded health protocols.
Only those required to report for work or head out for essential travel, like buying food and medicines, are allowed outside their homes.
Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, Central Visayas police chief, said mostly private vehicles occupied the streets of Cebu City on Monday.
In Lapu-Lapu City, many people trooped to police stations to secure travel authority—one of the requirements so non-essential workers could cross borders.
Col. Clarito Baja, director of the Lapu-Lapu City police, said non-essential workers must present these documents to pass through borders—a clearance from village officials, medical certificate from the city health department, travel pass from City Hall, authority to travel from police.
“If they lack one of these requirements, they won’t be allowed to go to other localities,” he said.
Workers rendering essential services, Baja said, only have to present identification cards which show, among others, the address of the company, and a certificate of employment.
While many people went to the police stations to get a travel authority, he said physical distancing measures were observed.
Edited by TSB
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