Transportation is crucial to the economic life of a nation. It is not surprising that as soon as the GCQ was in place, public transportation was one of the industries that slowly resumed operations.
As people start to go back to work, the anxiety that the transmission of COVID-19 will increase further is valid. The past few days, we learned that some of those who came home from Manila and other parts of the country were tested positive of the coronavirus. The long queue at bus terminals show how easy the transmission of the virus could spread.
The Davao City Overland Transport Terminal is said to implement strict health protocols during the resumption of operations within the region. With the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), the terminal installed instructional stickers, washing areas, alcohol and sanitizers in the area to encourage commuters to follow proper hand washing and hygiene.
Although not fully operational, there are already 26 inter-provincial buses operating within the region as border lockdowns were lifted last week. There are 13 buses that will leave Davao City to the four Davao provinces – Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur; and 13 buses will enter Davao City from the four Davao provinces. The trips also include buses going to and coming from Tagum City, Talaingod, Monkayo, Nabunturan, Laak, Pantukan, New Bataan, Governor Generoso, Caraga, Boston, and Digos City.
As one of its safety measures, each bus is only limited to carry 25 passengers to maintain social distancing. This means a total of 325 passengers enter and exit Davao City every day.
Travel is vital to keep the economy afloat. Commuters should also take responsibility in preventing transmission of the virus by following health protocols that have by now ingrained in our consciousness. Social distancing and wearing of masks should be at the top of their mind.