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Palace: Agencies told to study lifting of ban on public transport

The Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 response has directed agencies to study the possible reopening of public transport even as the country grapples with the pandemic.

In a televised briefing on Thursday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF ordered the transportation, interior and local government, tourism and health departments as well as the Bureau of Quarantine to study and recommend protocols subject to existing guidelines on social distancing, isolation and quarantine.

The study would cover air, land and sea travel.

On Wednesday, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said his department is looking at the possible resumption of operations of buses and railway systems but at reduced capacity.

Reacting to Tugade’s proposal, some senators said precautionary measures must be put in place and that mass transportation should be available only for workers of establishments offering essential services such as hospitals, food manufacturing businesses, banking, groceries and public markets.

Public transportation systems have been shuttered as part of the government’s containment measures in Luzon, where the country’s COVID-19 cases are concentrated. -Virgil Lopez/NB, GMA News