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Makati Mayor Binay: Ban on mass transport amid COVID-19 is problematic

The enhanced community quarantine which banned mass transportation in Luzon as a way to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 has created many problems that need to be resolved as soon as possible, Makati Mayor Abby Binay said Tuesday.

In an interview on Dobol B sa GMA News TV, Binay said President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of banning mass transport and passing the responsibility on the consequence of such measure to LGUs—at least for a month—caught many off guard and scrambling for solutions.

“Medyo magulo pa dahil tayo ay pare-parehas na nagulat kagabi. Iyong suspension ng mass transportation, that is our number one concern for the day,” Binay said.

“Kailangan i-resolve ang issue ng mass transportation kasi iyong establishment on essentials, bukas. Paano papasok ang mga empleyado, halimbawa ng grocery? Maglalakad? Inassume na lang na malapit ang bahay nila kung saan sila nagtatrabaho?” she added.

In addition, Binay also lamented that the ban on mass transportation will greatly affect those non-emergency medical cases such as those patients undergoing dialysis, having chemotherapy, and outpatients.

“Walang Grab, walang jeep, walang tricycle. Anong sasakyan nila?,” she added.

City government assistance

Binay said the Makati City government has already called on its barangay officials to lend their vehicles for non-emergency medical cases, and that the city will reach an agreement with jeepney and tricycle drivers to ferry patients of non-emergency cases.

Likewise, the city government provided shuttle service for its employees who are at the frontline of delivering basic services and are preparing temporary housing for them where they can be shuttled to and from their designated areas of work, she said.

Binay added that while the city government can provide enough assistance, it can only do so much amid the many problems that the mass transportation created.

Too much to handle

For one, Binay said it is also yet to be determined who will shoulder the cost of paying employees of private companies which will implement the no work, no pay policy, as well as jeepney and tricycle drivers who will have no income during the one month quarantine period.

“Sino ang magbibigay sa kanila ng ayuda?,” Binay pointed out.

Binay also said the national government thru the Department of Social Welfare and Development rationing food in all of Luzon for a month is not feasible.

“Hahatiran ng pagkain sa isang buwan? That is not logistically possible. Ilan ang papakainin? Ilang milyon na ‘yan, hindi lang sa Metro Manila kung hindi buong Luzon. Sobrang daming kailangang linawin,” Binay added. — RSJ, GMA News