The Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 is “highly encouraging” public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to still require their passengers to wear face masks following the national government’s move to ease COVID-19 protocols.
On Wednesday, Malacañang announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has recommended the voluntary wearing of face masks in non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation.
LTFRB-7 regional director Eduardo Montealto said that they will no longer fine PUV drivers who take in passengers not wearing face masks.
“Sauna gi specify man gyud to na dunay penalty ug magpasakay sila og walay face mask karon gi highly encourage nalang,” said Montealto.
However, Montealto said that commuters are still urged to wear face masks for their protection.
He noted that PUVs, even non-air-conditioned ones, are not considered as open spaces and tend to be crowded considering that these have started to take in passengers at full capacity.
“Bisan pag kanang mga non-aircon, maingon man na crowded ang mga PUVs mao ng highly encouraged gihapon ang mga pasahero na mag wear of face mask,” he said.
The official particularly called on persons with commorbitdies and senior citizens to still wear face masks.
The modified stance of the LTFRB has been implemented despite the lack of clear guidelines from the national government regarding the IATF’s recommendation.
According to Montealto, the national government has not issued an order on the implementation of the new policy.
“Reminder lang sa mga katawhan, wala pa jud ta kahibaw kanus-a ang effectivity aning gi sulti sa IATF so magpaabot pa ta,” said Montealto.
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is has also yet to issue an executive order, approving the new policy and other guidelines that the task force has proposed.
The national government has been shifting its health safety protocols in a bid to transition to a “new normal,” in which COVID-19 is considered an endemic virus just like an ordinary flu. (RT)