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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, May 22, 2020
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Employers told to provide
shuttle services to workers


Malacañang said yesterday it expects employers to provide free shuttle services to their workers who are now allowed to report for work despite the implementation of a nationwide community quarantine.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement as more businesses have been allowed to reopen while the country is under community quarantine.

“Ang aming assumption po ay gagawa rin sila ng hakbang para matulungan iyong kanilang mga empleyado na makapasok (Our assumption is they would find a way to help their employees get to work),” Roque said in a virtual press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4.

More establishments have been allowed to resume operations since May 16 after the community quarantine in several areas in the country were downgraded from enhanced community quarantine to modified ECQ.

Cebu and Mandaue cities were placed under ECQ, while Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales were put under MECQ until May 31 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

General community quarantine was imposed in other areas of the country that are not under ECQ or MECQ.

Roque noted that while some local government units are offering free transportation to workers, the government could not be obliged to provide free shuttle services to all returning employees.

“The rule is, if they cannot provide shuttle services, they should not reopen because we are still preventing the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

Mass public transportation in areas under ECQ and MECQ is still suspended.

However, commissioned shuttle services for employees of permitted establishments, and point-to-point transport services for front-line workers are allowed to operate at reduced vehicle capacity to observe minimum health standards.

Exempted individuals are also authorized to use private company shuttles and personal vehicles, as well as bikes and other non-motorized vehicles in areas under MECQ.

For areas under GCQ, the road, rail, maritime, and aviation sectors of public transportation can operate at a reduced operational and vehicle capacity.

A strict one-meter distance between passengers must be observed and appropriate engineering controls must also be in place during the GCQ period.*PNA


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