Requirement to wear air purifier necklace keeps many Cebu drivers off the road
CEBU CITY—Several public utility drivers in Cebu were unable to comply with the new requirement for them to wear personal air purifiers during their trips in a bid to curb further transmission of SARS Cov2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the province.
The air-purifying gadgets are worn like necklaces but scientists said these have not been proven to be effective in preventing infections.
Since many of the drivers feared getting apprehended, they decided to cancel their trips although others still proceeded with ferrying passengers from towns to cities in Metro Cebu.
Monday (Aug. 16) was supposed to be the first day of the implementation of the new requirement ordered by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
But since many have yet to comply with the order, Garcia extended the deadline to August 25.
As agreed in the meeting with the governor last week, public utility vehicle (PUV) operators would purchase the gadgets for their drivers and conductors. Some operators agreed to provide the gadgets on a loan while others gave these to their drivers for free.
One PUV driver said he got an air purifier for P600, which was considered as among the cheapest type, while another driver personally bought his for P2,000.
Another driver who was unable to buy the air purifier gadget said he tried to buy one for himself in downtown Cebu City but there were no stocks available.
Most drivers said they understood the purpose of wearing the air purifier as a measure against COVID-19 and just wanted to comply with governor’s order to avoid disruption in their only source of livelihood. Asked if they believed the gadgets were effective, the drivers answered only with a smile.
The provincial government also started the strict implementation of the anti-overloading rule at checkpoints set up in each town.
Drivers said since they can only carry up to 75 percent of their vehicles’ capacity, many passengers are unable to get bus rides.
The no air-con policy was also being implemented. Some passengers on a bus en route to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental province are complaining of the suffocating heat in the vehicle even before their four-hour trip to the southern part of Santander town, Cebu province started.
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