The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 on Thursday called on local government authorities in Bohol to help enforce social distancing protocols in public utility vehicles (PUV) in the province.
LTFRB 7 assistant director Rey Elnar issued the reminder after PUVs in the province have been seen carrying passengers at full capacity even while the province is still under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
Commuters also raised complaints against higher PUV fare which was supposed to have been allowed due to health safety protocols that limited the seating capacity of public utility vehicles (PUV).
However, the more expensive fare remained despite some PUVS already taking in passengers at full capacity.
Elnar said that local government authorities should be the ones to enforce the health safety protocols as the LTFRB does not have personnel and an office in Bohol.
“Since naa na sa Tagbilaran, unya di man ta maka operate dinha especially ang atong entry protocol dinhi lisod man jud, lisod ta makaanha diha, duna tay mga enforcers sa LTO, mga highway patrol, mga police pwede na sila mo sita sa mga ngana na violations,” he said.
According to Elnar, PUVs in areas under MGCQ, the least restrictive quarantine level, should only take in passengers at 70 percent of its seating capacity.
PUVs should also have plastic barriers between passengers as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Elnar confirmed that fare rates in Bohol have indeed “slightly” increased but noted that the hike was imposed to help PUV drivers and operators to still earn while they are barred from operating at full capacity.
“Ning taas g’yud gamay ang rates tungod sa capacity sa sakyanan na dili pud ka full,” he said.
In response to Elnar’s call, Bohol Provincial Police Office deputy director for administration Lt. Col. Larry Buansi on Friday said that he will send out reminders to police stations across the province to strictly impose health safety protocols in PUVs including vans-for-hire.
“E-enhance natin yan ulit, e-revisit naming yan para ma tuloy-tuloy natin yan. At e-remind din natin ang publiko, not only the PUJs but to all communities in Bohol na magtulong-tulong tayo because this is a concerted efforts,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Art Yap said that he will task Provincial Administrator Kathyrin Pioquinto to set consultations with the Department of Trade and Industry, PUV operators and consumer groups to discuss the transport fares in the province. (A. Doydora)