People who prefer to take the bus to commute to and from Metro Manila will need travel passes and book their tickets two days in advance, an official said Monday.
Joel Bolano, head of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s technical division, told DZBB travel passes will be needed by those taking the provincial buses once bus services resume on Sept. 30.
There will be no exemptions.
“Passengers will need to secure a travel pass from the PNP [Philippine National Police] and their LGU [Local Government Unit] in accordance with the policies of the IATF-EID [Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases],” Bolano said.
Twelve provincial bus routes going to the Araneta Center Bus Terminal and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange will resume beginning Wednesday.
Passengers will need to pay for their tickets two days before their trip. They will also be required to present a valid ID with their address or place of origin, age and school or workplace.
They will also need a written consent to allow for Covid-19 testing and possible quarantine and other documents required by the IATF-EID and their LGU.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health said health standards should be followed after the LTFRB announced that 12 routes to and from Metro Manila will be opened by Sept. 30.
Those routes are the following:
1. San Fernando, Pampanga – Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
2. Batangas City, Batangas – Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX)
3. Lemery, Batangas – PITX
4. Lipa City, Batangas – PITX
5. Nasugbu, Batangas – PITX
6. Indang, Cavite – PITX
7. Mendez, Cavite – PITX
8. Tagaytay City, Cavite – PITX
9. Ternate, Cavite – PITX
10. Calamba City, Laguna – PITX
11. Siniloan, Laguna – PITX
12. Sta. Cruz, Laguna – PITX
“Our primary objective is for our population to be safe if ever we will be opening up some of the sectors of society. What the Transport department is doing is they will open routes. Minimum health standards should be implemented,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.
Senator Grace Poe said as the government allows the operation of several bus routes, compliance with minimum health standards in public transportation was indispensable to ensure a virus-free travel.
"While there is an increasing number of public vehicles, we need to double the safety to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Poe said.
She said passengers and drivers must strictly observe safety protocols, such as wearing face masks and face shields, observing physical distancing and giving the correct information for contact tracing.
Transport operators should also reduce the risk of travelers being exposed to traces of the virus on surfaces by disinfecting vehicles and stations regularly.