This Week News

This Week in Metro Manila (August 22 to 28, 2020)

Transportation news dominate this week’s roundup!

By: Denisse Shawntel Tan | August 22, 2020
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Metro Manila, GCQ, quarantine, Transportation News, COVID-19

Metro Manila and nearby areas reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ) last August 19. As the entire area goes back to a more relaxed quarantine level, transportation concerns are addressed by the government through several projects. For one, the protected bike lanes along EDSA are now open to cyclists. Motorists from Mandaluyong and Manila can use the reopened Sevilla Bridge after being closed earlier this year due to reconstruction. In addition, commuters will also have more options since additional jeepney units and routes will be operational under the GCQ. Lastly, the Pasig City Transport also launched its own microsite to provide transportation-related advisories to residents. Read on to learn more about these and other transportation news.

Transportation News

Bike lane in EDSA open; bikers not required to wear face shield*

Cyclists can now use the protected bike lane along EDSA which stretches from EDSA Aurora to Magallanes southbound. It has six major sections: Aurora to Santolan, Santolan to Ortigas, Ortigas to Shaw, Shaw to Guadalupe, Guadalupe to Buendia, and Buendia to Magallanes.

According to the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the lanes were placed as an effort to provide alternative commuting options due to the limited public transportation. The lanes were also seen as necessary for frontliners who use bicycles to go to work [1]. DOTr clarified that cyclists are not required to wear face shields, but ultimately, local government units have the final say on whether face shields will be included as mandatory protective equipment.

Sevilla Bridge now open

Last August 17, the Sevilla Bridge reopened for motorists. The reconstructed four-lane bridge links Shaw Boulevard in Burol, Mandaluyong and P. Sanchez in Sta. Mesa Manila. Its completion helps in decongesting traffic in Metro Manila since it is used by at least 8,000 motorists daily.

Another feature of the reconstructed bridge is its ability to ensure the smooth flow of water in the San Juan River, since the area is prone to flooding during the rainy season. Last March, the bridge was closed for a month for its reconstruction and was partially opened to the public in June [2].

More jeepney units and routes allowed in NCR during GCQ

More traditional jeepney units and routes will be opened in Metro Manila under the general community quarantine. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said that almost 1,000 units of traditional public utility jeepneys will operate with the addition of 15 new routes [3].

The new operational routes are as follows:

• T115 Malabon – Monumento via Acacia
• T116 Cielito- Novaliches via Zabarte
• T117 Novaliches – Deparo via Susano
• T118 SM Fairview – Lagro Subd. Loop
• T119 Meycauayan, Bulacan – Bignay
• T120 Pantranco – Project 8 via Roosevelt
• T217 Forbes Park – Pasay Rd. via Ayala Commercial Center
• T218 Pasig – Taguig via Maestrang Pinang, Tipas
• T219 Marikina – Paenaan
• T220 Katipunan – Marcos Ave/Tandang Sora
• T347 Cabrera – Libertad
• T348 Arroceros – Cubao via España
• T349 Quiapo (Barbossa) – Santol, Sta. Mesa
• T350 Dagat-dagatan – Delpan via Divisoria
• T351 Quiapo – San Miguel via Palanca

LTFRB also said that they did not authorize a fare hike; fare for each trip will be PhP9 for the first four kilometers and PhP1.59 for the succeeding kilometers. Jeepney drivers, operators, and passengers are required to follow the standard health protocols such as mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing, limited passenger capacity, monitoring of passengers’ temperature, and daily disinfection of jeepney units and terminals.

Pasig City Transport launches microsite

Pasig City residents can now use the Pasig City Transport microsite to get information related to transportation services and projects [4]. In a Facebook post, the Pasig City Transport announced that the microsite will feature transport-related guidelines and announcements such as free shuttle services. The website can be visited through Along with transpo announcements, there are also health safety reminders to wear the necessary protective equipment, like face masks and face shields.

Local airlines resume domestic flights

Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines resumed domestic flights during the GCQ [5]. In an advisory, Cebu Pacific announced that they will resume flights to and from Manila. Some of the areas that will be covered include Cebu, Legazpi, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, and Tacloban. Travelers are encouraged to prepare specific requirements and to follow the regulations of the LGU of their destination.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines will also resume domestic flights to areas like Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Cotabato, and Zamboanga. All domestic travelers must check with the local government offices of their origin and destination for travel requirements, which usually include health certifications and mandated documents. Passengers traveling to Davao, Angeles City, and General Santos are also instructed to submit negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test results issued within 72 hours before their departure. Meanwhile, those traveling to Zamboanga must undergo swab testing upon arrival and must quarantine for 14 days.

All flights from both airlines are subjected to change. Passengers are also reminded to wear face shields during their flights.

Motorcycle barriers not required under GCQ

The National Task Force and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana allowed motorcycle back-riding in GCQ areas even without barriers [6]. The new policy will cover non-couples, but riders should be living in the same house and the back rider must be an authorized person outside of residence (APOR). Riders are required to present IDs that will prove they are staying in the same house. They must also wear face masks and full-face helmets.The policy covers privately owned motorcycles only.

LRT and MRT trains resume operations

The operations of the LRT and MRT resumed as Metro Manila reverted to GCQ but only for limited capacity [7]. The MRT-3 will dispatch 18 trains daily. The LRT-1 will dispatch 24 trains on weekdays during peak hours and 18 for off-peak hours. Meanwhile, the LRT-2 will deploy five trains daily, and the Philippine National Railways will dispatch 10.

Health News: Quezon City to open its own molecular laboratory

Quezon City will open its own molecular laboratory for COVID-19 testing by the end of the month. The three-story laboratory will be located in Barangay Teachers Village and will be able to conduct 500 tests daily with results possible in one to two days. The facility is yet to be accredited by the Department of Health but once it is, it can also process other medical tests for tuberculosis, HIV, and dengue [8].

Quezon City will be one of the cities in Metro Manila to have its own laboratory along with Manila and Marikina. Caloocan City is also building its own testing lab that will be located at the Caloocan City North Medical Center compound in Camarin. The laboratory will be able to conduct reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests [9].

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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