The spokesman of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday urged Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto to check the means of other local government units in transporting health workers, saying other cities and municipalities do not allow tricycles in their areas to operate.
At a press conference on Thursday, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya cited what Parañaque City did in catering to the transportation needs of frontline health workers. Instead of using tricycles, Malaya said the city utilized buses from hotels.
"Kung ang purpose po natin ay health workers, sana po tingnan ng lungsod ng Pasig 'yung ginawa ng ibang lungsod... For example po sa Parañaque po, humiram sila ng bus sa Okada at City of Dreams at sa Solaire, 'yung lahat ng bus gumawa sila ng ruta... doon nila pinapasakay ang kanilang health workers," Malaya said.
"Ang Parañaque ba ay pinayagan ang mga tricycle? Hindi. Sa Quezon City ba pinayagan ang tricycle? Hindi rin. Ang hindi ko po maintindihan, kung nagagawan po ng paraan ng ibang LGU na makagawa ng sistema ng paghahatid ng health workers sa kanilang pupuntahan, bakit hindi magawa ng Pasig?" he added.
Earlier, Sotto asked the national government to exempt tricycles from the ban on public transportation amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, saying he had allowed tricycles in his area to ferry health workers and emergency patients to hospitals in Pasig.
Malaya, however, insisted that the national government could not allow this as this would defeat the entire purpose of the Luzon quarantine. He added that other local government units could imitate Sotto's action.
"Pasensya na po, Mayor. Hindi po talaga namin kayo puwedeng pabigyan. Kasi po if we allow mass transportation in Pasig, mamaya po magrerequest na ang Valenzuela, ang Cabuyao, magrerequest na po ang lahat..." Malaya said.
Malaya also said the city government of Pasig has a lot of vehicles which they can utilize in transporting medical personnel: "I-pullout niyo po 'yung binigay niyong sasakyan sa DepEd, 'yung binigay niyong sasakyan sa OWWA."
Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles insisted that social distancing will be difficult to enforce in tricycles. — RSJ, GMA News