Balancing the need to revive the economy amid the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 with the need to provide protection and ensure the safety of workers, Senator Richard J. Gordon yesterday proposed that the government should provide transportation, such as bus services, for workers.
During the hearing of the Committee of the Whole to discuss updates on COVID-19 situation in the country and get a general overview of the problem and the response taken by the government, Gordon pointed out that the lack of public transportation would be a big problem for workers who will be coming back to work, especially if they are living in an area under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and working in a general community quarantine (GCQ) area.
“If our job is ibalik natin ang mga tao sa trabaho, magbubukas tayo sa Laguna park or Batangas eco-park, may mga tao dun na sabi ninyo na magproprovide ng bus. Kapag nagtrabaho iyong mga tao natin, hindi natin pwedeng i-asa lamang na iyong mga company may bus, swerte iyon. Kung walang bus, hindi makakapasok iyong tao, hindi makaka-produce hindi ho ba?” he said.
The senator said the Department of Labor and Employment should make arrangements with the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board for providing bus services since not all companies have their own shuttle services, adding that some companies have asked for his advice about the proposal.
He added the employers should also submit a list of their employees so they would be issued special passes to allow them to enter a GCQ or MECQ area.
“Hindi ba pwedeng iyong transportation department ay mag-provide ng buses sa LTFRB at bayaran natin makipaghati tayo sa mga kumpanya, at pagka-tapos ay bigyan natin ng oras at special permit iyong mga magko-cross ng lines. Kung wala, dapat mag-provide ang transportation department at i-charge duon sa private enterprise o mag-share. Now, pagpasok nuon kailangan natin ng passes dahil hindi naman pwede iyong ECQ sa GCQ tama po ba yon?” Gordon pointed out.
“Mababawas na sa iintindihin ng gobyerno pag may trabaho na. Makakapasok at susuweldo na iyon at makakatulong sila sa ekonomiya natin at makakadagag sa ating GDP (Gross Domestic Product),” he added.