MANILA – Despite appeals from commuters, Malacañang on Sunday said the government cannot let all modes of transportation back on the streets just yet as this will defeat the purpose of the 11-week long community quarantine implemented in Metro Manila.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government heard the sentiments of the public, and it understands what the commuters are going through.
"We heard the sentiments and understand the predicament of workers in commuting from their places of residence to their workplaces and vice-versa when we reopened the economy," he said.
He also said the Department of Transportation will be opening three more bus routes by Monday, June 8, upon the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Roque, likewise, said the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) still exists and that the government cannot let its guard down.
"We have to consider, however, that Metro Manila, is still under General Community Quarantine; thus, the threat of COVID-19 still exists and is real. At this juncture, we still cannot let all modes of transportation to be on the streets. This will defeat the purpose of quarantine. Unless a vaccine or cure is available, we must not let our guards down," he explained.
DOTr implemented a resumption of public transportation in two phases.
From June 1 to 21, trains and bus augmentation, taxis and Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), shuttle services, point-to-point buses, public utility buses and bicycles are allowed.
Public utility buses, which were previously scheduled to resume operation after June 21, have been allowed to provide more options to commuters.
There are also 28 P2P bus routes from Alabang, Bacoor, Bulacan and Antipolo, Roque said.
Roque said the government is trying its best to balance the need to revitalize the economy and protect the health and safety of the public.