• The Financial District


Commuter distancing is being relaxed as part of the government's program to revive the economy which has been hampered by the one-meter social distancing rule for those riding public buses and LRT and MRT coaches.

The relaxed rule followed a petition from 14 local and foreign business groups which had been affected by the stringent impositions on commuter distancing that led to less workers getting to their workplaces on time.

Earlier, the Department of Transportation sought the reduced physical distancing in public transportation.

The business organizations said “The 7 Commandments," or the combination of health measures to manage viral transmissions, can be adopted while relaxing commuter distancing.

“Backed by science and global best practices, this combination of health measures will be one of the strictest in the world and will enable better public transport: (1) wearing of proper face mask; (2) wearing of face shields; (3) no talking and eating; (4) adequate ventilation; (5) frequent and proper disinfection; (6) no symptomatic passengers; and (7) appropriate physical distancing,” the business groups said.

These 14 organizations include the Bankers Association of the Philippines, #BounceBackPH, Foundation for Economic Freedom, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Philippine Business for Education, Restaurant Owners of the Philippines, and Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc.

Foreign business groups such as American, Canadian, European, and Japanese chambers of commerce, as well as the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies’ Regional Operating Headquarters, Inc., also back DOTr’s proposal.

“We believe a combination of these measures will be amongst the most comprehensive in the world. By ensuring strict enforcement, we would be able to relax physical distancing requirements in order to increase our current public transport capacity, while minimizing the spread of the virus,” the business groups added.

Aside from increasing mass transit capacity, they also recommend increasing the overall supply of various modes of transportation to ensure that more Filipinos can go back to work.

They added a safe and gradual increase in the number and the capacity of public transport will be needed to revitalize livelihoods and the economy.

“Given the above recommendations, we support the Department of Transportation’s plans to gradually relax distancing so long as ‘The 7 Commandments’ are well communicated and strictly enforced alongside it,” the organizations said.

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