Villanueva calls for mass transport plan considering typhoons, Delta variant

The Nation's Leading Newspaper

7/24/2021 5:50:00 PM

Senator Joel Villanueva on Saturday, July 24, asked authorities to come up with a mass transportation plan in light of the rainy season and the threat of the Delta variant of the COVID-19.

The Nation's Leading Newspaper

Senator Joel Villanueva on Saturday, July 24, asked authorities to come up with a mass transportation plan in light of the rainy season and the threat of the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).Commuters in Philcoa, Quezon City are forced to wait in line after public utility vehicles (PUVs) were only allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity during the implementation of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus bubble. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN File Photo)

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Villanueva said there should be a plan considering unvaccinated workers who would have to endure heavy traffic, longer and more difficult commutes due to the rains.He called this a “perfect storm”, saying it could drive Delta variant infections up.The Department of Health earlier confirmed that there is already a

local transmissionof the highly-contagious COVID-19 variant.“Kung pwede lang po sana may contingency plan kung ilan ang dagdag na PUVs ang pwede ma-deploy during ‘surge periods’ (If we can have contingency plan to deploy additional public utility vehicles on roads during surge periods)” Villanueva said in a statement.

If airlines can deploy reliever flights when there is a backlog of passengers to be transported, the same must apply in Mega Manila, he said.The chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor said civilian government and military buses, vans, trucks, could serve as additional rides for stranded laborers during bad weather.

“Pwede pong pag-augment tulad ng ginagawa noon. Isama po natin ang mga government agencies sa bayanihan sa paghahatid ng mga pasaherong inabot ng hatinggabi na sa daan at wala pa ring masakayan (Like the program being done before. We should include government agencies in ferrying passengers who take hours in waiting for rides),“ Villanueva said.

“Mababawasan po ang risks kung hindi puno at sakto lang ang capacity (There will be less risk if we reduce further the capacity),” he pointed out.He also called for the release of the funds for thePUV service contracting programunder the 2021 national budget. The program was suspended following the expiry of the Bayanihan 2 law last June 30.

Villanueva maintained that transport must be included in the government’s 3T’s or “Test, Trace, Treat” strategy against the COVID-19 spread.According to the lawmaker, 70 percent of workers in the so-called ‘NCR plus bubble’ cannot work from home and rely on mass transport in going to and from work.

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“What complicates their plight is that NCR has 85 flood-prone areas in 579 barangays. And Metro Manila has 185 rainfall days in a year,” he continued.Villanueva also reiterated his appeal to fast track the vaccination of essential and economic frontliners.

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Pulos ka lg sisi. Epal kapal!!! Asa pa. They’re too busy planning for 2022 elections. NO TO TeamTrabaho NO TO RE-ELECTION NO TO HYPOCRISY NO GREED just for rainy season? why not do it everyday

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