Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap has ordered the establishment of checkpoints at the boundaries of the city to prevent the entry of overloaded public utility vehicles (PUV) in breach of health protocol which mandates social distancing for commuters.
Yap, in an interview over station dyRD’s “Inyong Alagad” on Tuesday, said they started a dry run for the checkpoint setups on Tuesday and will start its full implementation on Wednesday.
The checkpoints which will be manned by the barangay authorities, ALERT members, and the police will be set up throughout the day particularly during rush hours.
“Dili ni siya surprise checkpoint, naa ni siya sa busy hours, 7 sa buntag hantod sa alas 9 ug kung posibli then lain na pud na team ang mo takeover, basta sa ato lang dili ta magpasulod sa lapas sa capacity sa mga PUVs,” Yap said.
Both outgoing and inbound PUVs will be subjected to inspection at the city’s boundaries.
According to Tagbilaran City Police Station chief Lt. Col. Mary Peralta, the overloading usually happens in between PUVs’ routes, not at the terminals where authorities conduct inspections.
“When they [PUVs] are leaving Tagbilaran City, we have inspections conducted before they can leave the terminal unforntunately pag-alis ng terminal, that’s the challenge to us,” said Peralta.
The mayor’s order came amid complaints from the public against PUVs including buses, jeeps and vans-for-hire that have been transporting passengers at full capacity even while the province remains under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
PUVs in areas under MGCQ, the least restrictive quarantine level, should only take in passengers at 70 percent of its seating capacity.
Earlier, LTFRB 7 assistant director Rey Elnar had earlier called on local government officials to help impose social distancing in PUVs as the agency does not have personnel and an office in Bohol.
He said PUVs should also have plastic barriers between passengers as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.