A local bus company over the weekend announced that it would implement innovations for the new normal amid the health protocols and physical measures imposed in the country.
The relaxed general community quarantine phase allows some forms of public transportation to ply around areas covered by the directive, which include Metro Manila, for the month of June.
Last Friday, Del Monte Land Transport Bus Company or DLTB posted photos of an interior design concept the company would adapt to its bus units soon.
The post was captioned with: “DLTB bus innovations: new normal business class with toilet and bath. DLTB version coming soon!”
It added “CTTO” or credits to the owner as its photo credits.
DLTB BUS INNOVATIONS: NEW NORMAL Business Class with TOILET & BATH :)DLTB Version coming soon!CTTO 📸
The design showed seats separated by cubicles with metal-like slide dividers.
Myanmar’s bus design
While Filipinos mainly praised the bus interior concept, some noted that the photos came from a bus company in Myanmar called JJ Express.
On June 12, the official Facebook page of JJ Express posted a video showing an identical arrangement for its bus units.
A Facebook user named Blessie Joy Mitah Cruz Pulga also shared the similar photos of the bus interior concept last Friday which was re-shared by University of the Philippines Planners Organization on Facebook.
Three weeks ago, DLTB also re-shared a video from Facebook user Fernando Tibor Cabredo that showed each seat equipped with mirror-like dividers.
It also has a “no mask, no entry” policy placed on the bus unit’s door.
Excited to serve you all SOON!Your safety is our top priority.https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156944762921577&id=724461576
Under the GCQ rules, certain types of businesses previously not allowed during the enhanced community quarantine phase, such as malls and manufacturing are now allowed to partially reopen.
All forms of public transportation such as trains, jeepneys, tricycles and public buses are also supposed to be allowed to operate at limited capacity.
However, for Metro Manila, the Department of Transportation implemented a two-phase scheme wherein jeepneys, UV express units and provincial buses are still suspended despite their three-month loss of income until June 21.
The ban for these public utility vehicles will only be lifted on phase 2 on June 22.
Guidelines for mass transport
In Memorandum Circular No. 2020-003 issued by the Department of Tourism on June 5, buses, coasters and their passengers are mandated to strictly comply with the following guidelines during the GCQ period.
- No mask, no boarding policy—Passengers without face masks are not allowed to enter the vehicle.
- Social Distancing policy—Passengers must observe the strict maintenance of a distance of at least one-meter radius between persons.
- Buses and coasters should accommodate only 50% of the vehicle’s total capacity. A waterproof transparent barrier is also required.
- Passengers must be one seat apart. No standing passengers shall be allowed.
- All tourist vehicles must have a thermometer gun, basic first-aid kits, and sanitation kits with 70% solution alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer and tissue paper or disposable wet wipes, for the free use of passengers.
- Waste materials on board shall be kept in a clean and hygienic condition. A separate trash bag for all gloves, facemasks, Personal Protective Equipment, wet wipes and other sanitation disposables used by the passengers shall be available inside the vehicle.
- The transport service should be well–ventilated, and air–conditioning shall be on non-recirculated mode to maximize air changes that reduce potentially infectious particles in the vehicle.
- Drivers should always avoid physical contact with passengers and observe physical distancing.
- They must be in uniform and should wear PPE, complete with face masks and gloves, provided by their transport operator.
The DOTr also earlier released infographics to guide mass transport operators on how physical distancing can be observed in their vehicles.