Gov't studies return of jeepneys, motorcycle taxis in GCQ areas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 18) — The government is conducting studies if traditional jeepneys and motorcycle taxis will be allowed to ply the roads as Metro Manila and other areas under general community quarantine move to the second phase of reopening public transport.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is studying the health implications of allowing traditional jeepneys to resume operations starting June 22. When the second phase starts on Monday, city buses and modern PUVs will be allowed to serve commuters after months of suspended public transport.

Traditional jeepneys may be tapped if the buses and modern PUVs are not enough, but they need to be "road worthy" — which will be defined by the LTFRB, Roque said.

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The spokesperson hinted that there is a big chance drivers of traditional jeepneys may work again soon.

"Alam naman ng LTFRB na habang wala tayong mabigay na alternative livelihood at habang kulang talaga ang mga sasakyan sa kalye, baka kinakailangan, subject to health standards. Pinag-aaralan pero may possibility po, pero hindi pa tapos ang pag-aaral ng LTFRB," he said in a regular briefing.

[Translation: The LTFRB knows we cannot give alternative livelihood to jeepney drivers. If the public transport is not enough, I think we need to allow jeeps, but subject to health standards. It's possible, but LTFRB is still studying it.]

RELATED: DOTr proposes measures for jeepneys operating in GCQ areas

The resumption of operations of provincial buses has yet to be discussed by the COVID-19 task force.

Meanwhile, Roque said the Department of Health has been looking into allowing motorcyle taxis, such as Angkas, in GCQ areas. He said Angkas proposed using a special suit to be used by the drivers.

"Pinag-aaralan (it is being studied) if that suit will be sufficient to more or less provide distancing of sorts," he said.

Backriding or passengers riding pillion on motorcycles remain prohibited nationwide as physical distancing cannot be enforced.