Vico Sotto temporarily allows tricycles in Pasig for people reporting to work amid quarantine

March 17, 2020 - 1:49 PM
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Commuters in Metro Manila quarantine
Commuters equipped with surgical face masks walk along the LRT-MRT connecting bridge at the EDSA station. (Philstar/Deejay Dumlao)

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto is not completely banning tricycles in the city in consideration of the health workers reporting for duty and those employed in industries deemed as essential services under the enhanced community quarantine.

In a Facebook post, the city chief shared that he and his team had conducted a risk assessment following the announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte last night about the newly implemented quarantine.

Sotto said that his team used the city government’s vehicles to offer transportation services to health workers and those reporting for duty in sectors related to food, medicine and money transfer services, among others.

Their assessment showed that the city’s vehicles are not enough so he temporarily allowed tricycles to travel within the city, subject to protocols set by the authorities such as practicing social distancing.

This means passengers boarding each tricycle will be limited in number.

Sotto also said that Pasig’s tricycles will only allow people who are exempted from the enhanced community quarantine.

Ginagamit natin ang mga sasakyan ng lungsod para sa #LibrengSakay pero kulang na kulang ito. Our risk assessment shows…

Posted by Vico Sotto on Monday, March 16, 2020

 

Filipinos lauded his directive since the government has banned mass public transportation under the enhanced quarantine order.

These include the Metro Rail Transit, the Light Rail Transit, buses, jeepneys and transport network vehicles like Grab. Motorcycle taxis like Angkas and Joyride have also suspended their operations in the meantime.

Under the directive, only private vehicles with one person can travel provided they go to supermarkets, drugstores, banks and other establishments providing essential needs.

“This guy is really using his Social Science skills into good use. I hope that this country will have leaders like Vico Sotto whose data-driven and cares for the underprivileged. Kudos!” a Facebook user commented.

“Good and prudent wise decision Mayor Vico! Ingat po kayo parati at lahat ng medical health workers and frontliners! God bless po!” another Filipino said.

When the directive about the enhanced community quarantine was first announced on Monday social media users expressed their concerns on its immediate implementation, particularly workers who were previously allowed to report in the metro.

“Enhanced community quarantine effective immediately pagkatapos niyong payagan yung mga workers to go to Manila to work????? Sana ‘di niyo na lang pinayagan from the start ‘di ba? Or sana inimplement niyo (nang) maayos ‘di ‘yung ganito :((( ‘Di naman kami mayaman to not use public transport,” a Twitter user said.

“All modes of transportation will be disallowed sa enhanced community quarantine which is sobrang makaka-affect sa lower class or vulnerable sector sa community natin. Hindi naman lahat may private car para masakyan when they go to their works,” another online user wrote.

Prior to the implementation of enhanced community quarantine, Sotto also showed support for Pasig City tricycle drivers’ move to hike prices.

Sotto said it is essential for these drivers to apply price hike amid the social distancing as they can only service a maximum of three passengers which will result in lower profit.

The Department of Transportation earlier issued a guidelines on practice of social distancing on public transportation in a bid to prevent spread of COVID-19.

READ: Why commuters failed to practice ‘social distancing’ even when told to do so amid community quarantine

“Kung ‘di natin sila papayagang magtaas sa gitna ng health crisis na ito, wala na pong bibiyahe na tricycle…,” Sotto said in a Facebook post.

“Maawa naman tayo kung sa 8hrs na biyahe, 50 pesos lang kikitain nila,” he also said.

A report from GMA’s Raffy Tima said that aside from Sotto, Makati City Mayor Abby Binay will also “utilize tricycles for essential inter-city movement for frontline workers, supermarket/grocery personnel, dialysis patients, says they now have shuttles for public hospital workers but plans to house them in-city.”

Interaksyon sought confirmation from Makati city government but the LGU has yet to respond.

This morning, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the Department of Defense and the Philippine National Police will deploy trucks to help stranded passengers amid the implementation of enhanced community quarantine.

He added that bus companies will also provide transport to the affected passengers.