André Héroux | COMMONS

After finally admitting that there is no scientific evidence to prove that they prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has lifted the mandatory usage of plastic barriers for separating passengers inside public utility vehicles (PUVs).

“Drivers and operators can already remove them because there are no medical findings, based on our studies, that they can prevent the spread of Covid-19. Instead, the virus could stick to them,” said Assistant Transportation Secretary for Road Transport Mark Steven Pastor in a press conference.

Even without the plastic barriers, the transportation department stressed that safety protocols are still required in all public transport. PUVs have been using plastic barriers since July 2020 to separate passengers and to implement the 50-percent capacity rule. 

Back in September, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chief Martin Delgra said there was no official policy from LTFRB and DOTr about requiring jeepneys to put plastic barriers inside their vehicles. 

Delgra also noted that even the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases did not require the use of plastic barriers. Ronald Espartinez