Malacañang on Thursday said tricycles and other vehicles with sidecars are now allowed on the national highways to address the shortage of mass transport following the general community quarantine in parts of the country, only to retract the announcement hours after.
“Regarding the issue on tricycles/those similarly situated, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año clarifies that although apprehension from the Highway Patrol Group is temporarily suspended, such are still prohibited from traversing the national highways,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
Roque made the retraction as workers continued to struggle to go to and from work as a result of the limited rides, and jeepneys are still banned from the roads.
Backride on a motorcycle was still prohibited even if the rider was married to the driver.
More bus routes
The Transport department said Thursday it will open additional bus routes in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces to serve more commuters.
The agency said buses will ply the Monumento-Balagtas, EDSA-Montalban and NAIA Loop routes starting June 5.
And on June 8, buses will start taking passengers along Monumento in Caloocan City to the Valenzuela Gateway Complex, Gilmore to Taytay in Rizal and Monumento to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan.
Modified coding scheme
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Thursday it will enforce the modified number coding scheme to ease traffic in the metropolis during the general community quarantine.
The agency said the following vehicles are automatically exempted from the coding scheme:
• all private vehicles provided there are two or more passengers including the driver, physical distancing is strictly observed, and all passengers wear face masks.
• owner-driven or self-driven private motor vehicles of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.
• all Authorized Persons Outside Residence are also exempted.
MMDA spokesman Pircelyn Pialago only laughed after former MMDA chief Francis Tolentino slammed the agency for slapping a 1,000-peso fine against each member of a bicycle group that recently put up temporary barriers to protect cyclists along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
“No comment for the meantime, guys,” Pialago said.
The MMDA imposed the fine against the members of the Bikers United Marshall for placing lines of six-liter plastic bottles to serve as temporary markers for one lane intended for bike riders.
“This is too harsh and severe a penalty for our cyclists, fellow travelers in the road who only wanted to make the roads a safer place for them to travel in the absence of an established bike lane on Commonwealth,” Tolentino said.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has authorized the operation of establishments accommodating people, Malacañang said Thursday.
Roque said hotels, resorts, apartment hotels, tourist inns, motels, pension houses, private homes used for homestays, ecolodges, serviced apartments, condotels and bed-and-breakfast facilities may now operate while the country is still grappling with the COVID-10 pandemic.
“They are now allowed to operate,” Roque said in a virtual presser on state-run PTV-4.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed the partial resumption of religious mass gatherings in the areas under the modified general community quarantine, Malacañang said Thursday.
Roque said religious services would be permitted at “50 percent of the seating capacity.”
“For areas under MGCQ, mass gatherings for religious purposes are allowed, but it will only be at 50 percent of the seating capacity,” Roque told PTV-4.