The Metro Manila Council on Saturday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to maintain the one-meter physical distancing policy inside mass public transport vehicles.
"Kami po ay nagagalak na ito po'y inaprubahan ng ating mahal na Presidente na we have to sustain 'yung atin pong distancing regardless kung nasa labas ng mga PUV o nasa loob ka ng sasakyan," Metro Manila Council chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said at the Laging Handa public briefing.
Olivarez said the one-meter distance was the "consensus" of the mayors of cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) in their recent briefing, together with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III."
"Binanggit po namin doon na talagang napakahirap kung babawasan po natin 'yung atin pong pag-reduce ng physical distancing sa public utility vehicles," Olivarez said.
"Pati po 'yung ating messaging sa atin pong constituents, hindi magiging consistent dahil paglabas po ng public utility vehicle one meter tapos pagdating sa loob ng PUV natin ay below one meter," he added.
Earlier, Olivarez said the Metro Manila mayors were surprised when the Department of Transportation (DOTr) released the guideline on below-one-meter distancing without "proper consultation" with them.
The DOTr earlier said that the original one-meter distance would be reduced to .75 meter effective last Monday, September 14. This could be further reduced to 0.5 meters after two weeks, and to 0.3 meters after another two weeks.
"Mananatili po ang one-meter distancing sa pampublikong transportasyon," Palace spokesperson Harry Roque announced on government-run PTV4 on Saturday.
"Sasamahan din ng pagsuot ng face mask at face shield... Bawal po ang salita, bawal ang pagkain sa mga pampublikong transportasyon," he added.
Meanwhile, the DOTr said it will comply with the President's directive. —LBG, GMA News