A SURVEY done by the Social Weather Stations showed that restrictions on public transportation due to the coronavirus lockdown burdened most Filipinos.
The survey, which was conducted from May 4 to 10, indicated that 77 percent of the total 4,010 respondents found the suspension “burdensome.”
SWS conducted the non-commissioned survey through mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews.
About 40 percent of the respondents said they had “great difficulty” while 37 percent answered, “some difficulty” with the suspension of mass transportation.
Only 14 percent said that they had a “little difficulty” and eight percent said the suspension did not affect them at all.
On June 7, the Philippine government reaffirmed its decision to maintain the ban on some public transportation as preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the government has “heard the sentiments and understand” the predicament of workers who commute.
“We have to consider, however, that Metro Manila, is still under general community quarantine… the threat of COVID-19 still exists and is real,” said Roque.
He said the government “still cannot let all modes of transportation to be on the streets.”
“This will defeat the purpose of quarantine. Unless a vaccine or cure is available, we must not let our guards down,” he said.
Buses and the popular Filipino jeepneys are still prohibited to operate in the capital region despite the shift to the more relaxed “general community quarantine.”
Last week, the group Church People-Workers solidarity called on the government to lift the restrictions on public transportation to ease the problem of the commuting public.
The group also said that the resumption of jeepney operations will help drivers and operators revive their livelihood.
Roque said the government “is trying to do more in order to help everyone,” however there is a need to balance the actions to “revitalize the economy” and “protecting the health and safety of the public as well.”
Instead, he urged businesses to provide shuttle services to their workers.