Back to work and back to a new normal have become the major intention when Metro Manila was put under the general community quarantine June 1. But confusion on the availability of transportation derailed the plans of the returning employees and workers. Others had to walk far to resume their work; others used bike to commute, making their trip dangerous for not having an assigned bike route.
“I want to go back to work but there is no available transportation. I want to earn money because what the government’s “ayuda” (aid) is not enough for our family to survive,” said one commuter who walked many miles to reach the factory where she worked.
With the joint forces of the LGU, MDA and the PNP took effect to manage the first day of the general community quarantine. Most of the transportation except the buses and old jeepneys are not allowed based on the government’s transportation hierarchy.
“This is unfair to us not to allow to drive, we need money to support my family. Their “ayuda” is gone and we survive from the help of our relatives and friends,” one jeepney driver who was ready to drive after fixing his unit on the health requirement to transport people to some destinations.
Department of Transportation Secretary Art Tugade requested understanding to follow the new normal in transportation. He says:” I want you to be patient enough and the government is trying to help to improve the transportation problem. We will add more transportation units to address the demands. This is only the first day of the General Community Quarantine.”
The MRT, LRT and the PNR did not face problems and the social distancing and other healthy measures have been followed.
“This is good for us, we have many spaces. Before, people were pushing each other to enter the train and it was too crowded, but now, it is easy to find seats,” one lady commuter who was wearing a mask and looked relaxed.
The government officials from the DILG assured that the problems encountered in the first and second day of the ECQ in Metro Manila will be addressed immediately.