The Department of Transportation (DOTr) wants to increase the current 50% passenger capacity of public utility vehicles to 100%, noting that a pilot run should happen first in Metro Manila. 

“Increasing passenger capacity will mean a higher revenue for the public transport sector. This will be a welcome development considering the increase in expenses brought by increasing fuel prices,” the DOTr said in a statement.

The transport department has already sent its position paper to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which is now scheduled for discussion on Thursday. 

The DOTr explained that the National Capital Region is the “ideal place” to do the proposal since 81.4% of the region’s population have already been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The NCR is also under Covid-19 Alert Level 3 which means more businesses are allowed to operate and more people will demand for public transport. 

Meanwhile, oil companies have declared on Monday a new increase in pump prices for the ninth consecutive week. But the DOTr isn’t supporting the transport groups’ call for a fare increase. The transport department, however, said it is working on giving fuel discounts and subsidies for the public transport sector. Ronald Espartinez