As more companies are now allowing their employees to go to work and several regions are now in GCQ, it seems that public transportation isn’t ready for the demand. While the operations of the three metro trains, cabs, and ride-hailing cars are already available, these are generally more costly than jeepney fares. As a result, many people were stranded not just in Metro Manila but in other cities as well. Sadly, some of these people chose to walk for hours instead.
Senator Nancy Binay dared the transportation officials to try commuting right now and shared that they seemed to favor a specific segment by not allowing jeepneys to operate. In the Philippines, jeepneys are known to dominate the public transportation industry. As of the moment, UV Express vans and public utility buses are still not allowed to operate despite the growing number of people going to work. This is because they generally do not have an option for cashless transactions.
We’ve also seen reports where the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority gave people free truck rides. While it is a big help for low and middle-income earners in terms of funds, this could be a serious threat to their health due to lack of social distancing.
The New King of the Road
The Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board have been discussing the replacement of the old jeepneys with the modernized version. These newer models look like minibusses that resemble the facade of a more traditional jeepney. Unfortunately, these do not serve inner-city routes where most businesses are located. You can find the full report here.
The possible options this GCQ
There are some possible options, as shared by Senator Risa Hontiveros. One would be for the government to pay the operators of public transport a per kilometer fee. This could strictly enforce social distancing. With fixed fees for operators and drivers, they will not have to run after the ‘boundary’ costs. It’s a win-win situation for both commuters and operators.
Other people suggest that employers should provide solutions or services to ferry their stranded employees. Luckily, some companies are doing this already, giving comfort and strengthening safety measures for their employees.
Work from home solutions on GCQ
Understandably, some industries and job roles couldn’t be fulfilled at home. However, for others, we strongly recommend a work-from-home setup. Other companies have already rolled out added security features so that confidential information will remain safe even if their employees are working from home.
As for the employers, we must also consider that this work environment is new to most people. There will be adjustments and even birth pains. To help our employees, the company can provide guidelines on how one can work from home more efficiently. You can also set up an internal help desk for concerns.
We are most likely entering a new era, and we have to be prepared. Things will change, but humans are naturally resilient. Eventually, we are all going to adapt. More than just surviving, we will thrive.
And as always, practice social distancing and make it a habit to wash your hands.