THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PCCI), tapped by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to be its consultant with regards to COVID 19 pandemic response, has suggested opening more routes for jeepneys to aide more employees that are going to their workplaces during this general community quarantine (GCQ).
In a virtual media conference for the launch of the 46th Philippine Business Conference and Expo, slated to happen on 7-8 October this year, PCCI President, Ambassador Benedicto V. Yujuico urged the IATF to allow more jeeps to operate and open more routes to drivers and operators.
“The IATF should allow jeepneys to ply routes from secondary roads so our people can be brought to the main arteries like EDSA so that they can take buses. That will also help the jeepney drivers who, for more than 6 months without income,” according to Yujuico.
Yujuico added that besides jeepneys, their group is also asking the IATF to consider increasing the percentage capacity of buses to allow more workers to report to their respective workplaces.
A total number of 64,512 public utility jeepneys (PUJs) plying Metro routes are allowed to operate by the IATF as of June, with 50 percent passenger capacity, to augment for the gradual reopening of the economy amid COVID 19 pandemic.
“The IATF should consider the business aspect and the economic recovery and part of the economic recovery is we must allow employees to report to their workplaces for businesses to make money, otherwise they are going to close down. Baka pwede in accordance with what they think what’s right,” according to Yujuico.
He said the PCCI was allowed by the IATF to be observers of what the IATF is doing, and perhaps “little backdoor channeling in terms of some of their suggestions.”
Last August, the PCCI in a resolution, asked the IATF to include private sectors to its pandemic related decisions, as they will be able to use their on-the-ground experience to come up with a holistic approach that will make businesses easier to resume operation and for workers to return to work.
Yujuico maintained that they hope the government would recognize the vital role of businesses in creating jobs and providing income, as well as the need to address the issue of livelihood and poverty to avoid social unrest.
Subsequently, Malacañang had welcomed the group’s inclusion as resource persons and their inclusion, but only on matters related to trade, business, the economy, and policy discussions with regards to the country’s coronavirus response.