MP not ready for opening of mass public transport

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BONTOC, Mountain Province – The provincial government disclosed that the province and the municipalities are not yet ready for the proposed opening of inter-provincial and inter-regional mass public transportation amidst the placement of Mountain Province under low-risk modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) from July 16-31, 2020.

Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. said that the provincial government received a communication from the Cordillera office of the Department of Transportation (DOTR-CAR) inquiring on whether or not the local governments are ready for the possible opening of inter-provincial and inter-regional mass public transportation but the different municipal governments were united in declaring that their municipalities are not yet ready for the same.

However, the governor claimed that what had been initially opened in the province is the inter-municipal mass public transportation to allow the controlled movement of the people from the different municipalities with strict adherence to the prescribed health and safety protocols to prevent the further increase in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the province.

He stated that public utility vehicles that have been permitted to operate purposely for inter-municipality mass public transportation should comply with the 50 percent occupancy to ensure the observance of physical distancing inside the vehicles and for the drivers and passengers to always wear their face masks during the course of the travel.

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According to him, the opening of inter-provincial and inter-regional mass public transportations might take a longer period of time that is why people should continue to abide by the guidelines that allow them to do so only for essential travels.

Lacwasan said that the provincial government and the 10 municipal governments remain vigilant in the enforcement of the community quarantine guidelines to ensure that there will be no untoward incidents that will transpire that will eventually ruin the gains that were achieved by Mountain Province during the implementation of the Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

He emphasized that the 2 confirmed COVID-19 cases that had been recorded in the province are simply a product of coincidence and not local transmission, thus, what is evident is that the implementation of the community quarantine rules had been successful in preventing the people from contracting the deadly virus.

The first COVID cases in the province was a 19-year old male from Soquib, Besao, Mountain Province who as a close contact of his older brother who was a confirmed patient of Buguias, Benguet while the second case as a 22-year old male from Bananao, Paracelis who is a call center agent and is a returning locally stranded individual from Taguig City.

Lacwasan appealed to the residents of the province to be patient in awaiting the decision of the provincial and municipal governments on when to open mass public transportation because what matters now is the protection of their health and safety and that they do not want that there will be incidents that will transpire that will result to the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases which might eventually compromise the limited quarantine facilities and the health care units existing in the different parts of the province.

By Hent

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