The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority announced Sunday it had suspended the implementation of the modified number coding scheme in the National Capital Region.
READ: GCQ opener: Transport lack
"The MMDA's Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or number coding scheme is still suspended on Monday, June 8, until further notice due to limited operations of public transportation in Metro Manila," the agency said in its advisory.
"The number coding suspension is for public mobility to continue and assist the motorists, particularly those reporting for work," it added.
Based on the MMDA Regulation 2020-001 series of 2020, the following vehicles are automatically exempted from the new traffic scheme:
• all private vehicles provided that: a) there are two or more passengers including the driver; b) physical distancing is strictly observed; and c) all passengers shall wear face masks.
• owner-driven or self-driven private motor vehicles of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel.
Operators of transport network vehicle service are required to put a signage so they could easily be recognized as TNVS.
A party-list lawmaker on Sunday urged the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to just issue special identification cards or exemption passes for couples and family members to allow them to travel together during the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) period.
Rep. Ronnie Ong of Ang Probinsyano party-list group made the advice to the IATF-EID instead of completely banning motorcycle riders to have a backrider.
Ong said that while it was true that it was very cumbersome and time-consuming for checkpoint personnel to verify the relationship of all back-riding motorcycle riders, the IATF-EID should also consider the sacrifices and the hardships that the public was going through because of the inadequacy of public transport.
As a win-win solution, Ong recommended that the IATF-IED would allow back-riding for couples and family members, but they should secure specially designed identification cards or exemption passes bearing both their photos.
Ong said that public transportation was now one of biggest challenges for people trying to get back on their feet and eke out a living under the GCQ and motorcycles and bicycles were the most affordable and most accessible means of mobility for many of them.
In some rural areas, Ong said the only mode of transportation was the motorcycle.
To ensure that motorcycle riders would only ferry his/her spouse or family member such as their son, daughter, or sibling, and at the same time speed up the process of verification by checkpoint personnel, they should be able to show an ID or exemption pass showing the photos of both the driver and the backrider.
Ong said that IATF-EID can even tap the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to process electronic applications for the issuance of electronic passes which can be read through QR reading apps..“These are very simple solutions to a very simple problem. Let’s not make this issue very complicated,” Ong said.
Green advocates have backed the use of at least one million electric bicycles under the new normal amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The Clean Air Philippines Movement Inc. represented by its president and ex-Philippine Medical Association president Leo Olarte said they were rolling out their project called "One Million E-Sikleta Project for the New Normal Philippines."
“Due to its zero carbon emission advantage, we have long advocated for an effective and sustainable electricity-driven transportation system for the Philippines," he said in a statement.
"Our common clean air agenda and goals mandate this action. The sufferings and immense pain that COVID-19 caused our country and people are enormous and devastating. However, the lockdowns also resulted in cleaner air in our cities," he added.
READ: Bicycle riders should be fit, strong to ride, says MMDAHigher education
Higher education institutions (HEIs) such as colleges and universities are allowed to conduct face-to-face classes in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
This is contained in the omnibus guidelines on the implementation of community quarantines as of June 3 released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Colleges and universities will only be allowed provided they observe minimum public health standards.
“Limited face-to-face or in-person classes may be conducted in HEIs provided there is strict compliance with minimum public health standards, consultation with local government units, and compliance with guidelines set by CHED (Commission on Higher Education),” the document read.
However, HEI activities that involve the mass gathering of students remain prohibited under MGCQ areas.
CHED chair Prospero de Vera described flexible learning as more encompassing than online learning, which requires connectivity and full use of technology, particularly the internet.
Flexible learning is a broader term that focuses on the design and delivery of programs, courses, and learning interventions that address learners' unique needs in terms of pace, place, process and products of learning. It does not necessarily require connectivity.
President Rodrigo Duterte is strongly against holding face-to-face or in-person classes until a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed.
READ: MMDA warns enforcer for not wearing facemask
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