Bus operations between Metro Manila and the provinces could resume as early as September, authorities said Wednesday, in a potential breakthrough for those with families outside the capital but have no private cars.
Rules are being ironed out to address the concerns of local governments, said Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chair Martin Delgra. The resumption of provincial bus services will follow a reduction of physical distancing rules in public transport.
Metro Manila and its 12 million people have been largely closed off to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, six-month-old restrictions have begun to ease as infections slow and as authorities aim for the first ever flattening of the curve by the end of September.
Those who don't have private cars have no way of leaving Metro Manila for the provinces.
"We need to coordinate with the LGUs concerned kasi sila ang sasalo ng mga pasahero and since we are in the context of a pandemic, naghahanda din yung mga LGUs paano nila ihahandle yung pasahero," Delgra said.
(We need to coordinate with the LGUs concerned because they are the ones who will receive the passengers and since we are in the context of a pandemic, they are preparing for it.)