Biazon urges gov’t to rethink use of plastic barriers in PUVs
MANILA, Philippines— The government should rethink its policy of requiring the installation of plastic barriers and other flammable materials in public utility vehicles (PUV) following an incident on Sunday where a bus caught fire in Quezon City.
Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon noted the observation of firefighters that the plastic barriers inside the bus may have also helped spread the fire that eventually consumed the vehicle
“Transportation authorities should investigate what eyewitness accounts say about the plastic barriers inside the bus that caught fire. This could be a basis for the [Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)] to rethink the policy of installing plastic barriers in public transportation,” he said on Monday.
“It is understandable for the IATF to come up with various measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 the measures should also take into account other dangers inherent in public transportation,” he added.
The lawmaker made the remarks after a bus caught fire along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Sunday.
The fire reportedly began when a male passenger threw gasoline on the female bus conductor during a heated argument and set her ablaze.
Other passengers escaped by breaking the rear glass window. The male passenger and the conductor died in the fire.
Biazon said there was “no doubt” that the plastic barriers pose a danger during a fire aboard a vehicle because it is flammable.
“The plastic barriers appear to be fatal in an accident, not only because of their flammability but also as a hindrance to the movement of passengers rushing to exit a vehicle … Either the fumes and smoke will choke passengers, or the melting plastic will burn them,” he said.
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