LTFRB orders PUV drivers, conductors to wear face masks

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has ordered public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and conductors to wear face masks as precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus.

According to its Memorandum Circular 2020-005, the LTFRB directed franchise holders to ensure that drivers and conductors properly wear face masks at all times while on duty. 

Additionally, the agency also ordered all terminal operators to ensure proper sanitation and cleanliness within the premises and to also provide face masks and hand sanitizer to passengers.

Following the first reported case of the infection in the country, the LTFRB reminded PUV drivers of their mandate to provide transport services to anyone.

“While the LTFRB recognizes that this is a cause for heightened precautions and stricter implementation of safety measures, the agency would like to reiterate that the mandate of PUV drivers includes providing transport services to anyone regardless of gender, nationality, disability, etc,” the agency said in a statement.

The LTFRB warned that PUV drivers who will be found guilty of rejecting passengers shall undergo due process.

“We urge the public to stay vigilant and report occurrences like these,” it added.

Meanwhile, ride-hailing firm Grab Philippines said that they will require their drivers to wear face masks amid the outbreak of the virus.

“In light of the Novel Coronavirus, we have already released advisory to our drivers and passengers on the health precautions as approved and cleared with the DOH. We will also be distributing face masks to our driver-partners,” Grab said in a statement.

The Department of Health on Thursday reported the first case of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a press briefing that a 38-year-old Chinese woman tested positive and is now confined at a government hospital.

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