Tricycles, pedicabs and other vehicles with sidecars are now allowed on national highways to address the shortage of mass transport amid the prevailing general community quarantine in different parts of the country due to COVID-19, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. said Thursday.
Roque made the announcement as workers continued to struggle, if not walk for miles, in going to and from work due to a scaled down mass transport and jeepneys still being banned from plying the roads as part of social distancing.
“Nagkaroon na po ng bagong polisiya, pinapayagan na po ang [sasakyan na] sidecar sa national highways para maibsan ang kakulangan sa transportasyon ngayong GCQ at modified GCQ,” Roque said in a briefing.
Roque, however, maintained that backriding in a motorcycle riders remains prohibited even if the backride is married to the motorcycle rider.
“Ang mag-asawa po, kapag lumabas, makakahalubilo po sila ng ibang tao at baka makahawa kaya hindi pa rin po pinapayagan ang backride. Wala pong social distancing diyan [sa motorsiklo],” Roque said.
The Philippines has recorded 19,748 COVID-19 cases so far. Of this number, 4,153 recovered while 974 died.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed Luzon and other highly urbanized cities under enhanced community quarantine from March 16 to May 31—a measure that banned mass gathering and mass transport—to prevent COVID-19 transmission. This measure has resulted in work stoppages in many industries.
Quarantine rules have been eased since June 1 to allow around 75% of the workforce per company to physically go back to work while mass transport has resumed at 10 to 50% amid the Health department’s declaration that the case doubling time of COVID-19 cases has taken longer at six to 7 days from previous two to four days. -MDM, GMA News