Senator Grace Poe on Thursday asked the government to consider the increased demand for public transport in deciding to shorten curfew hours in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
Poe pointed out that “relaxing curfew hours and quarantine restrictions will naturally result in more people out of their homes and in public places.”
“Is our current public transport system capable of handling such surge of commuters? Are there enough PUVs to ferry them from one place to another?” the chairperson of the Senate public services committee raised.
She said that without augmenting the number of public utility vehicles on roads, commuters will again end up suffering and facing the risk of COVID-19 infection due to crowding in terminals and public vehicles.
Poe reiterated her appeal to allow more jeepneys to operate and serve the expected surge of commuters while still complying with health protocols.
Following appeals from the business community, the Cabinet has recommended the easing curfew hours to 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Metro Manila mayors were supportive of it, according to Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nograles, vice chairman of the Interagency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF).
Currently, cities under the general community quarantine are implementing a curfew period of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
San Juan City was the first local government unit in Metro Manila to shorten its curfew hours from midnight to 5 a.m., effective Monday, October 12.
Aside from the shorter and later curfew, Nograles said the government is also eyeing to implement staggered work hours to prevent a “rush hour” that would violate physical distancing measures.