By AARON RECUENCO
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade warned Saturday the operators and drivers of colorum vehicles against transporting commuters from the National Capital Region (NCR) and other areas within the NCR-plus bubble to other parts of Luzon, particularly Bicol region.
Tugade said the blatant violations being committed by erring operators and drivers have been contributing to the rise of coronavirus disease (COVD-19) cases in the country.
The official made the statement after 12 vans were intercepted by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) while transporting passengers from Metro Manila to the Bicol region on April 1.
“We will not succeed in defeating COVID-19 if we continue to violate the quarantine protocols. Let us set aside our personal interest to save as many lives. We are talking here about the lives of the people, so let us just follow the rules,” said Tugade.
Based on the data from Bicol region, 79 people from Metro Manila tested positive for coronavirus. Those who tested positive were passengers from Metro Manila.
President Duterte placed Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 3 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus following the reported upsurge since last month.
On Saturday, he approved the recommendation to extend the ECQ in these areas for one more week.
Tugade said he had already ordered the LTO to coordinate with other government agencies to intensify the conduct of screening of vehicles going to and from NCR-plus bubble.