Following the issuance of enhanced community quarantine in the entire Luzon that suspended the mass transportation in the region, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez on Tuesday encouraged private companies to provide shuttle services for their workers who are still expected to report to their jobs.
In a press briefing, Lopez floated the suggestion amid the plight of employees and workers of essential establishments such as supermarkets and hospitals as they scramble to go to work on the first day of implementation of the enhanced community quarantine.
“We encourage that the critical employees of supermarkets and drugstores to be given support in terms of shuttle service,” said Lopez. “They will be fetched in some designated points so that they will just go there since there is no public transportation.”
The trade secretary also raised the idea for private companies to provide their employees with temporary lodging while the island-wide strict quarantine is in effect – a measure which was ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte that took effect on 17 March and will end 13 April.
Under the strict quarantine measure that aims to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), only private establishments providing basic necessities related to food, medicine, banks, power, energy, water, telecommunications, among others will remain open.
“If there is a skeletal force needed to be maintained so that businesses could still operate, hopefully, they could be given temporary lodging and housing provisions next to their establishments so that they wouldn’t have to travel far,” said Lopez.
He noted that apart from these efforts from the private companies themselves local government units (LGU) should also use their vehicles to ferry their constituents.
“We can also consider the LGU, the barangay leaders, to use their vehicles then make an arrangement to fetch their employees in a particular place and help their constituents,” said Lopez.