Robredo Questions Easing Physical Distancing On Public Transport
ROBREDO ON EASING PHYSICAL DISTANCING – Since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, one important rule had always been emphasized – physical distancing.
COVID-19 has been studied to spread from at least 6 feet away. As such, experts such as researchers from the World Health Organization urged people to keep at least a meter apart from one another or 3 feet.
However, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases announced a proposal of easing physical distancing inside public transportation. It proposed that the physical distance between passengers be reduced to 0.75 meters starting Today, September 14. Afterward, it would be lowered to 0.5 meters and then to 0.3 meters in the succeeding weeks.
As Metro Manila shifted to a General Community Quarantine, more passengers now require transport. However, due to physical distancing protocols, the capacity of public transport has greatly been reduced.
With the new proposal in place, this would allow more passengers to commute to work and get the necessary supplies. However, Vice President Leni Robredo had concerns regarding the proposal. According to an article from Inquirer, she said: “Iyong sa akin lang, nakabase ba ito sa siyensiya?“
Masaya tayo na iyong public transport, magkakaroon na ng mas marami, kasi ang dami na talagang nagtitiis—hindi lang iyong mga drivers, pero pati iyong mga pasahero. Pero sana nakabase pa din sa siyensiya iyong pagdedesisyon
Furthermore, she emphasized that she does not know what the basis DOTr was to allow such a decision. She cited that she did research to see if there were studies saying it was okay to have such a small gap between people amid the pandemic, but asserted that she found none.
Along with this, Robredo suggested that the government should consider service contracting of vehicles to accommodate commuters and to help drivers who have lost their income due to COVID-19.
“May ibang mas epektibong paraan. Gawin na lang sanang service contracting…Sana gawing service contracting na lang muna iyong mga public transportation. Bayaran sila, hindi nakabase sa ilang pasahero ang nakasakay”