Group hits proposal to limit PUVs to vaccinated individuals
Drivers yesterday opposed the proposal of Octa Research to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to limit the use of public utility vehicles (PUVs) to vaccinated individuals.”
The Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) said that this policy will only result in “discrimination” between vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers. This will also result in “chaos” because drivers do not have the capacity to acertain the vaccination status of all passengers because not all passengers board from terminals, as some are picked up along the road.
The group said that the policy will only result in “extreme competition between already struggling passengers when public transport should be a form of public service.” Instead of imposing the said restriction, the group challenged the regime to speed up its vaccination drive.
The said policy was recommended by the Octa Research after the DOTr approved the proposal to gradually increase transport capacity starting on Nobyembre 4.
Meanwhile, the DOTr announced last Friday that drivers and operators are no longer required to install plastic barriers in PUVs to separate passengers after admitting that this policy is not backed by science. “There are no medical findings, based on our studies, that these can prevent the spread of Covid-19. Instead, the virus could stick to them,” it admitted.
The DOTr has implemented this erratic policy for more than a year since the pandemic hit the country. During this period, drivers were apprehended for not installing plastic barriers. PUVs with no plastic barriers are prohibited from operating, and drivers who do not comply are apprehended and fined. This further burdened drivers as they were made to shoulder additional expenses for a pointless policy, after suffering huge income losses due to transportation restrictions.