• Melo Acuna

HEPA filters may be considered for modern PUJs

Should there be enough funds, the government may consider HEPA filters

MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the suggestion to install high-efficiency particulate arrestance filters in the so-called modern jeepneys.

At a briefing at the Presidential Palace at midday today, Secretary Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has given priority to buses as they have higher passenger capacity and followed by the modern jeepneys and the popular UV express and the regular jeepneys.

During the same briefing, Secretary Roque said the modern PUJs have complied with the requirements set by the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines formulated by the land Transport Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“Should there be enough funds, it may be worth considering but I don’t know if they have considered it. What is important is social distancing, placing of plastic barriers to ensure social distancing, taking of body temperature and accomplishment of forms for possible contact tracing would suffice,” he said.

He said there are now 308 modern PUJ units out to serve 15 different routes.

However, research group IBON said it may be safer to use the traditional jeepneys in lieu of the modern PUJs where air does not pass through HEPA filters.

In a separate interview, Air Carriers Association of the Philippines Executive Director Roberto Co Lim said with Philippine-based airlines using HEPA filters, passengers can be assured of safe travel and should not entertain fears of COVID-19 contamination through air travel. He said the air from the plane’s ceiling is sucked by an exhaust at the floor.

Meanwhile, asked of the light rail transit operations may not be in danger of folding up due to strict physical distancing resulting in limited load factor, Secretary Roque said the government has no other choice because the people will have no other transport facilities.

“The government cannot stop its operations but endanger public safety. Again, we have chosen health over finance or economics,” he concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (Melo M. Acuna/File Photo)

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