Business group bats for 80 percent operating capacity for public transport

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2020 01:10 PM

Commuters ride a jeepney in Manila. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said Thursday public transport should be allowed to operate at 80 percent capacity for the economy to "efficiently" bounce back. 

The industry also appealed to the government to allow more industries to operate and make commuting to work easier for employees in a bid to boost consumer confidence, the PCCI said in a statement. 

Workers who do not have company shuttle service are forced to pay more since tricycles and jeepneys are not yet fully operational, the group said. 

“Transportation is crucial to effectively revitalize businesses and help them recover. Many of our members continue to hurt even as they have been allowed to reopen because their workers are hampered by the lack of or absence of public transportation. Moreover, consumer demand continues to be low,” PCCI president Benedicto Yujuico said.

“COVID-19 has been with us for 6 months now, and is not going away soon. We should not let it keep us hostage. Instead, we have to know how to move our way with the virus,” he added.

The PCCI said safety protocols such as no talking, no eating, and no using of phones inside public vehicles should be strictly enforced to provide more safety measures even if the capacity is increased.

Public transport is allowed under modified general community quarantine subject to capacity limits and strict health protocols. The Transportation Department earlier suggested reducing the 1-meter minimum for physical distancing, which has since been withdrawn.