Duterte decision on physical distancing rule in PUVs out Sept 21– Roque
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will announce his decision on the controversial easing of physical distancing among public transport passengers on Monday, September 21, his spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Roque initially announced that Duterte will make his decision on the matter public on Thursday, but later said it will be on Monday instead during the President’s regular public address as members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will only submit their recommendation to the chief executive on Thursday.
“Maaalala niyo po na sinabi ko na baka today po ang decision ni Presidente, baka hindi po mangyari ‘yan dahil ang report po na pag-aaralan ni Presidente ay isusumite pa lamang ngayong araw,” Roque said in a televised Palace press briefing.
“Inaasahan natin na siguro po magkakaroon ng desisyon ang Presidente sa Lunes sa kanyang susunod na talumpati sa taumbayan,” he added.
In the meantime, the one-meter physical distancing among passengers in public utility vehicles (PUVs) will remain in effect while the country waits for Duterte’s decision.
Transportation chief Arthur Tugade earlier said the IATF and the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) allowed the proposal to decrease physical distancing inside PUVs to 0.75 meters from one meter.
The World Health Organization, however, has recommended a one-meter distance between individuals to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes respiratory ailment COVID-19.
Even medical experts warned that reducing the prescribed physical distance among commuters may lead to further COVID-19 transmission.
The new physical distancing rule was supposed to be implemented on Monday, Sept. 14.
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