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By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Tuesday, May 19, 2020
With Cebu Province on GCQ, non-airconditioned buses, mini buses, and other inter-island transportation will start operating, subject to set public health rules and regulations. (Lito Tecson/File Photo)

Buses, mini buses, and other public transportation vehicles will start plying the roads of Cebu Province on Wednesday, May 20, as the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starts.

Non-airconditioned buses and mini buses are the preferred units allowed to ply in approved routes carrying only 50 percent of the total capacity to properly observe physical distancing. 

Operators must also ensure the availability of hand sanitizers in the buses and fare collectors are required to wear hand gloves. 

Aside from the special permits issued by the Land Transportation Franchising ang Regulatory Board (LTFRB), buses must also have the Provincial Public Utility Pass (PPUP) from the Cebu Provincial Government which will indicate their carrying capacity.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said violation of the set regulations means revocation of the PPUP. Without it, buses will not be allowed to travel.

Temporary bus terminals are located in the area of the Lantaw Restaurant in the Cebu South Coastal Road in Talisay City for southbound trips while the CityMall and SM Mall in Consolacion for buses plying north.

Passengers must wear face masks and other personal protective gears. They will be checked upon ticket purchasing to ensure that their travel is for essential purposes only. 

No ticket will be issued and boarding will be denied to the passenger if the trip is non-essential, Garcia said.

Tricycles and “trisikads” will be allowed to ply municipal roads carrying one passenger only. Designated stops will be identified so they can feed passengers to the buses at the national highway.

Motorcycles are also permitted but the “no-backriding policy” remains as per issued regulations of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Travelling via private vehicles will be required a Vehicle Quarantine Pass from the local government unit (LGU) of origin. Sedans and pick-ups will be limited to four passengers only, including the driver; six for both Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV), and eight persons for vans.

Bicycles and other non-motorized (or energy-efficient) modes of transportation are also encouraged. LGUs are enjoined to identify, within their respective areas, safe and convenient bicycle lanes or pathways and ensure that strict social distancing measures are still followed. 

Boat trips to Camotes Islands via Danao Port and to Bantayan Island via Hagnaya Port will resume as well. Sea travel going to and from provinces outside Cebu, however, is still not allowed.

While strict border controls remain between Cebu Province and Cebu City and those not included in the list of exemptions are not allowed to cross, Cebuanos who are stranded in towns and cities within Cebu, including Cebu City, can be allowed to go back to their hometowns.

Those who wanted to go home to their families must secure a Certificate of Acceptance from the mayor of the local government of their home residence and a one-time exit pass from the Capitol. (Eleanor Valeros)