Citing a lack of scientific evidence, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has decided to rescind the use of plastic barriers in public utility jeeps (PUJs) and other forms of public transportation.
The transport agency announced on October 29 that without any “medical findings” as per their own research, PUJ drivers and operators were allowed to remove the barriers they had set up in their vehicles.
Numerous international studies have been conducted prior, finding no scientific basis that plastic barriers are able to curb the spread of Covid19 within small, closed spaces.
Instead, the DOTr reiterated the need to continue adhering to basic public health safety measures.
However, there was no government policy that mandated the use of plastic barriers within PUJs or other forms of public transportation, drivers were not discouraged from its use.
Back in September of last year, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief Martin Delgra stated that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) itself made no mention of plastic barriers being a necessity.
Public transportation drivers had adopted the measure in order to separate passengers and enforce the 50% capacity guideline set forth by authorities as a condition for allowing them to operate once more, on July 3, 2020.
Meanwhile, as Covid19 cases in Davao City drop, Executive Order No. 51-A has now designated face shield usage as voluntary, even in closed, confined spaces.
Prior to the order, President Rodrigo Duterte had lifted the nationwide mandate on face shield use when outdoors, back in September.