AS MORE workers commute on their way to work, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 released a new order that aims to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus inside air-conditioned public transportation units.
The agency has instructed operators and drivers of public utility vehicles to open the windows of their units during trips.
This latest requirement by the LTFRB 7 also aims for ventilation inside enclosed vehicles. The new transportation protocol took effect on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, according to LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr.
The LTFRB 7, said Montealto, found it necessary to augment the set guidelines for transportation safety amid the public health crisis sparked by the coronavirus disease, by requiring all air-conditioned public utility vehicles with special permits to observe the new measure.
Before issuing the order, Montealto had a series of meetings with representatives of the Cebu City Government and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Taxi drivers are required to roll down the windows of their units at least three inches from the top of the door frame to allow the movement of air inside their units.
For public utility buses, tourist cars, tourist buses and UV Express units with fixed glass windows, the windows on the driver’s side and the passenger seat’s side must be opened at least with a gap of three inches.
The drivers of units with glass windows that are not fixed are required to open all windows with three-inch gaps for the entire duration of their trips.
Failure to comply with the new LTFRB 7 directive carries a P5,000 fine for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense, and a P15,000 fine including a 30-day suspension of the public utility vehicle’s franchise and a possible 30-day impoundment of the unit for the third offense.
Meanwhile, the Cebu City Government is planning to open routes for public utility vehicles that are currently not served during the community quarantine.
This was discussed by Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, chairman of the committee on transportation, during his meeting with the representatives of the LTFRB 7, Cebu City Transportation Office and transportation cooperatives.
Garganera said the small cooperatives that acquired modern jeepneys will be prioritized.
He said the City wants the buses accredited by the LTFRB 7 to travel to focus on picking up passengers along major roads.
Garganera said there must be public transportation in the city’s interior roads to better serve the city residents. / WBS, PAC / KAL