*Gov.MMM issues the guidelines based on health protocols
By Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco
LAOAG CITY (PIA), Jan. 26, 2021 – The provincial government has now allowed the resumption of public utility buses to carry passengers from Ilocos Norte to Metro Manila and vice versa starting this January 31, 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through Executive Order No. 113-21, Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc issued the guidelines for the resumed operation of the passenger buses to ply their routes noting that Ilocos Norte is under a more relaxed community quarantine.
The Governor’s EO states that provincial buses plying the Manila to Laoag City (vice versa) and Manila to Pagudpud (vice versa) routes will now be allowed to resume operation starting January 31, 2021.
Some of the guidelines and documentary requirements, among others, are stated in the following:
Initially, 20 buses a day are allowed entry to the province subject to increase based on the demand of passengers.
Only those operators with routes permitted to travel to and from Metro Manila shall be allowed to operate subject to the issuance of the corresponding Quick Response (QR) Code by the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) central office.
Those PUBs found to have violated the guidelines will be apprehended accordingly.
For bus drivers and conductors, face masks and face shields are required to be worn at all times.
On the other hand, passengers are also mandated to wear face mask and face shield before they are allowed to board the bus.
Use of mobile phones and talking while inside the bus are also discouraged.
Passengers need to secure a medical clearance certificate from the city or municipal health office or any hospital accredited by Department of Health (DOH), travel authority issued by Philippine National Police and a trip ticket acquired 48 hours prior to the actual date of travel.
In addition, a rapid antigen test with a negative swab result collected within 24 hours is needed.
In line with the health protocols in Ilocos Norte, every passenger’s entry is subject to the final acceptance and approval by the provincial government.
To expedite entry, scanned copies of the accomplished requirements must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours before the scheduled trip.
Returning residents, locally stranded individuals, and returning overseas workers will still undergo quarantine. (Ma. Joreina Therese A. Blanco/PIA Ilocos Norte)