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This Week in Metro Manila (July 4 to 10, 2020)

Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine until July 15.

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | July 04, 2020
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Metro Manila, COVID-19, quarantine, Quarantine updates, Transportation News, Health News

As of early July, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines approach 40,000. As such, Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 15. As the quarantine continues, public transportation is being improved. In Pasig City, the local government will reopen the ferry system; meanwhile, more jeepney and UV Express routes are opened all over Metro Manila. In terms of air travels, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) released guidelines for ‘new normal protocols’. Besides transportation, testing labs are also given priority in Quezon City and Valenzuela City.

Quarantine Updates: NCR remains under GCQ

President Rodrigo Duterte announced the updated quarantine level in Metro Manila last June 30. In his statement, the entire National Capital Region (NCR) remains under GCQ until July 15. Other areas under this quarantine level are Benguet, Cavite, Rizal, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Leyte, Ormoc, and Southern Leyte. Meanwhile, areas with low cases will remain under modified community quarantine. Cebu City also remains under enhanced community quarantine [1].

Metro Manila transitioned to GCQ in early June as the government sought to resume work in order to restart economic activity. The NCR has been the epicenter of the pandemic in the Philippines, but Cebu City is currently an emerging hotspot because of the increasing cases in the area.

Transportation News

Pasig City’s Ferry Service will resume operations soon

The Pasig River’s Ferry Service (PRFS) will resume its operations soon, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Danilo Lim. The date for the resumption is not yet disclosed, but Lim stated that they are preparing the PRFS’ guidelines and safety measures to ensure the safety of passengers [2].

Lim added that Pasig residents will continue to avail free rides once operations resume. The PRFS will be a transportation method for commuters who travel between the western and eastern parts of the metro. Currently, the PRFS has 11 ferry boats that have varying passenger capacities. The latest addition is a 55-seater vessel, M/B Phileco, which will be used for transporting passengers and for tours.

More jeepney and UV Express routes opened in Metro Manila

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced last June 27 that more jeepneys and UV Express vehicles will be back on Metro Manila streets in the coming weeks. The additional routes will be part of the government’s plan to gradually increase public transportation.

LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra said that 30 jeepney routes would be added to the 38 that are currently used by the new mini buses. For UV Express vehicles, there are 47 routes that will operate in and out of Metro Manila. UV Express trips will be from terminal-to-terminal only. Seating will be limited and passengers must fill out forms for contact tracing. The additional jeepney and UV routes will be interlinked with the route rationalization program for buses in Manila. The specific list of the new routes were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, the LTFRB also allowed traditional jeepneys back on the road last July 3. According to LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular 2020-026, jeepneys which are allowed to operate are those with existing franchises in the following number-coded routes:

• T102 Camarin, Caloocan - Novaliches, Quezon City
• T103 Karuhatan, Valenzuela - Ugong, Valenzuela
• T104 Malabon - Monumento via Letre (Caloocan)
• T105 Malabon (TP) - Navotas (TP)
• T107 Monumento - Navotas via Letre
• T205 Cubao - Project 4 via JP Rizal (QC)
• T206 Cubao - San Juan via N Domingo
• T208 IBP Road - Lupang Pangako via Gravel Pit Road (QC)
• T209 Marikina - Pasig
• T210 Pantranco - Project 2 & 3 via Kamuning (QC)
• T211 Project 2 & 3 - Q Mart (QC)
• T212 Sucat Highway - Bagumbayan (Parañaque)
• T213 Ayala - Pateros via JP Rizal
• T215 Marikina - Pateros via Pasig
• T301 A. Bonifacio, Manila - A. Mabini via 10th Ave (QC)
• T302 A. Bonifacio, Manila - D Tuazon/E. Rodriguez Ave. (QC)
• T303 A. Rivera - Raon via Severino Reyes (Manila)
• T305 Ayala - Mantrade via Pasong Tamo (Makati)
• T306 Ayala - Washington (Makati)
• T309 Balic-Balic - Quiapo via Lepanto (Manila)
• T310 Balic-Balic - Bustillos via G. Tuazon (Manila)
• T311 Balic-Balic - España/M Dela Fuente (Manila)
• T312 Balintawak - Frisco (QC)
• T313 Balut, QC - Blumentritt, Manila
• T314 Blumentritt - North Harbor via Divisoria (Manila)
• T316 Boni - Kalentong JRC via Boni Avenue (Makati)
• T317 Dian - Libertad (Manila)
• T318 Divisoria - Gastambide via Morayta (Manila)
• T320 Divisoria - Pier North via Plaza Moriones (Manila)
• T321 Divisoria - Quiapo via Evangelista (Manila)
• T322 Evangelista - Libertad (Makati)
• T323 Divisoria - Velasquez (Manila)
• T324 Guadalupe Market - L Guinto via Pasig Line
• T326 L Guinto - Sta. Ana (Manila)
• T327 Herbosa/Pritil - P Guevarra via Tayuman (Manila)
• T328 Kalentong/JRC - P Victorino via P Cruz (Mandaluyong)
• T330 Divisoria - Sta Cruz via San Nicolas (Manila)
• T331 Kayamanan C - PRC via Pasong Tamo (Makati)
• T332 L Guinto - Zobel Roxas via Paco (Manila)
• T333 Lardizabal - Rizal Avenue via M. Dela Fuente (Manila)
• T334 Lealtad - Quiapo (Barbosa) via Lepanto (Manila)
• T335 Kalentong/JRC - Libertad, Nueve de Pebrero (Mandaluyong)
• T336 Kalentong/JRC - Namayan via Vergara (Mandaluyong)
• T338 North Harbor - Quiapo via Evangelista (Manila)
• T340 P Faura - San Andres (Manila)
• T343 Quezon Avenue, QC - Sta Mesa Market, Manila via Araneta Avenue
• T344 Crame - San Juan via Pinaglabanan
• T401 Alabang, Muntinlupa - Sucat, Parañaque via ML Quezon
• T402 Soldiers Hill (Phase IV) - Talon via Alvarez (Las Piñas)

The minimum fare for traditional jeepneys will remain at PhP9 for the first four kilometers, with PhP1.50 added to succeeding kilometers. For safety measures, drivers are required to wear and use gloves at all times. Commuters are required to wear face masks and to pay before boarding. Drivers are also recommended to create a fare collection system.

Other safety measures that will be followed by jeepney drivers include regular disinfection of frequently touched areas at the end of every trip, physical distancing, and limited seating capacity. Barriers will also be placed between passengers and the driver. For contact tracing, passengers are required to fill out a form for their contact details. The LTFRB also recommends passengers to take note of the time and date of their trip and the jeepney’s plate number.

Aside from Metro Manila, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said that Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos, Eastern Visayas and SOCCSKSARGEN regions, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cagayan de Oro, South Cotabato, and Siquijor are allowed to resume the operations of traditional jeepneys. These areas were chosen because their primary mode of transportation are traditional jeepneys [3].

MIAA releases “new normal” guidelines

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) listed the guidelines for the new normal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The guidelines were made following the increase in the number of flights as air travel resumed in GCQ areas. Included in the guidelines are social distancing and mandatory wearing of face masks among passengers and airport staff [4].

Temperature checks, foot baths, disinfecting protocols, and other health screening measures are also included. Sanitation stations will also be provided in the facilities. Physical distancing methods will also be applied in frequently crowded areas such as counters, restrooms, elevators, restaurants, shops, walkalators, and other facilities. MIAA general manager Ed Monreal also said that MIAA will operate at limited capacity and frequency. They will also be implementing changes based on recommendations from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Health News

Quezon City launches mobile testing facilities

Quezon City launched mobile COVID-19 testing facilities in order to track virus carriers in the area. Mayor Joy Belmonte said that the mobile units will be able to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDT). The use of these testing methods is part of the city’s strategy for contact tracing, isolating, and testing. The mobile units include a generator, a mini laboratory, negative pressure, and self-decontamination areas.

The local government also said that they will be prioritizing barangay officials and other barangay frontliners for testing. The mobile units will also be deployed in areas with “high attack rate” and “high active cases,” persons who are showing symptoms, and areas under special concern lockdown (SCL) [5].

Areas that are under SCL include the following:

• Calle 29 in Libis
• Kaingin Bukid in Apolonio Samson
• 138 Ermin Garcia St. in E Rodriguez
• 52 Imperial St. in E. Rodriguez
• Portion of King Christian St. in Bagbag
• Insurance St. Extension in Sangandaan
• Loans St., Alley 4 in Sangandaan
• 70 Mendez Road in Baesa

Currently, Quezon City records the second highest number of COVID-19 infections in the country after Cebu City. It currently has 3,255 positive cases with 229 deaths and 1,884 recoveries.

Valenzuela City is building their own COVID-19 testing laboratory

The Valenzuela City local government is building the city’s own COVID-19 testing laboratory in order to track down infected individuals in the area. The laboratory, which is set to be done by July, will be capable of conducting at least 200 PCR tests daily. These will be added to the city’s current testing capacity of 305 daily through five different laboratories [6]. Valenzuela City has 539 COVID-19 cases, 306 recoveries, and 18 deaths as of June 27.

Go to Yoorekka for more COVID-19 updates in Metro Manila.

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About Denisse Shawntel Tan
Denisse Tan is currently a work in progress: she’s an aspiring writer, artist, and fashion designer! She’s trying to figure out how to manage her time in achieving all of her goals while also taking in life as humanly possible. Aside from art, she’s a big fan of the color pink, disco music, Bratz dolls, and Genshin Impact. By age 35, she plans to travel to New York City 🗽.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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