Workers do not need to secure a travel authority to take provincial bus trips, according to Joint Task Force (JTF) COVID Shield commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar on Wednesday.
In a radio interview, Eleazar explained that instead of a travel pass, workers only need to present an ID and certificate of employment especially when the trip is work-related.
“If you are workers permitted in the street, then you don’t need to have a travel authority,” said Eleazar, noting that only individuals who are not considered as Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APOR) are required to present a travel authority for provincial bus trips.
This comes after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) opened 12 modified provincial bus routes to and from Metro Manila and Regions 3 and 4-A with 286 bus units since Monday.
Provincial buses are allowed to operate in Batangas City, Lemery, Lipa City and Nasugbu in Batangas; Indang, Mendez, Tagaytay and Ternate in Cavite; as well as Calamba City, Siniloan and Sta. Cruz in Laguna.
Passengers have to present travel pass, valid ID, medical certificate and consent for undergoing possible quarantine and coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test.
However, Provincial Bus Operators of the Philippines executive director Alex Yague said that only few buses will ply the newly-opened routes on Wednesday morning.
“We are still monitoring the situation,” saod Yague. “There is a requirement that passengers should book trips within 48 hours.”
Corporate affairs and government relations head of Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange Jason Salvador said they were just waiting for buses for the newly opened routes to arrive.
The new routes also cover San Fernando, Pampanga route to Cubao in Quezon City. However, the Araneta City Bus Port announced that the resumption was postponed.
To monitor the compliance of the provincial buses, personnel from the JTF COVID Shield were deployed at bus terminals, according to a separate television report.
The task force advised the public to be vigilant and report violators of health protocols.