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Metro Manila to remain under Alert Level 3 until Nov. 14, gradual PUV capacity increase to start next month

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Oct 29, 2021 3:11 pm

Metro Manila will stay under Alert Level 3 until Nov. 14, while a gradual increase of passenger capacity in public transportation in Metro Manila and nearby provinces will be implemented beginning Nov. 4, Malacañang announced.

In a press briefing on Oct. 29, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the alert level was retained as the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) wanted to monitor COVID-19 cases while gradually relaxing restrictions in Metro Manila to prevent a rise in infections.

“Bagamat pababa ang projection ng ating mga kaso, baka naman ang increase in mobility ay magdulot ng pagtaas ng kaso. Ito po ay for the next two weeks. Panigurado lamang po ito para dahan-dahan ang ating pagbubukas,” Roque said.

Under Alert Level 3, establishments are allowed to operate with 30% capacity indoors, only for fully vaccinated individuals; and 50% capacity outdoors.

The IATF also allowed public utility vehicles in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to increase its passenger capacity.

At present, PUVs plying Metro Manila and nearby provinces are allowed 50% passenger capacity. Roque said on Nov. 4, this will be increased to 70% and then gradually increase to 100%.

The Department of Transportation recently backed the call to increase passenger capacity in public transportation to the IATF as one of the measures it considered to help drivers and operators recover from their losses due to the pandemic.

The Philippines has seen a decline in its daily COVID-19 cases after a surge of cases in August and September brought by the more infectious Delta variant. As of this writing, new confirmed COVID-19 cases are at 3,694 making the total number of cases in the country at 2,772,491.