By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
The operation of all modes of public transportation in Luzon have been suspended beginning Tuesday, March 17, in line with the imposition of the “enhanced community quarantine” in the island to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In an advisory issued by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) minutes before the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, it announced that the country’s railway systems — LRT Lines 1 and 2, MRT Line 3, and the Philippine National Railway — will suspend its operations starting Tuesday.
All public land transport modes including passenger buses, jeepneys, taxis, transport network vehicle service (TNVS), FX, UV Express, Point-to-Point (P2P) buses, as well as motorcycle taxis will also be suspended during the period.
According to the DOTr, use of private vehicles will be allowed only when buying basic necessities, but one person per household will be authorized to go outside.
For the aviation sector, the DOTr said that outbound foreigners will be allowed to leave the Philippines within 72 hours after the start of the enhanced community quarantine.
Airport operation will be also limited to outgoing flights carrying foreigners and tourists, while Filipinos are not allowed to go outside the country.
“Inbound flights will only be for repatriating Filipinos,” the DOTr added.
However, land, air and sea travel of uniformed personnel for official business, especially those transporting medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to the COVID-19, and other humanitarian assistance, will be allowed.
For media vehicles and reporters, the DOTr said they will be allowed to travel within the community quarantine area, provided that they secure a special media pass from the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
The DOTr said these guidelines will be effective within the period of the community quarantine until April 13, 12 a.m.
“All other specific details or requests for clarification shall be discussed and clarified in another IATF meeting to be held Tuesday,” the Department added.