“Your safety and health should be top priority in this time of pandemic and should not be taken for granted at any given time. Riding shuttles can also be an opportunity for exposure to Covid-19 so please do not let your guards down and practice safety and health protocols all the time,” said Occupational Safety and Health Center Executive Director Noel C. Binag, CE.

The safety protocols inside shuttle services include wearing of both face shields and face masks of riders and drivers at all times, observance of physical distancing, and frequent disinfection. Employees using shuttle services should not be allowed to talk with each other, eat, remove their face masks or face shields, and answer phone calls. Signages bearing reminders on these should also be displayed on conspicuous areas inside the shuttles.

Proper ventilation and avoiding recirculation of air can also prevent Covid-19 transmission. The windows of shuttles must be kept open with at least three inches of opening for the duration of the ride. All vehicles used as shuttles must be properly disinfected before and after each use.

The DTI-DOLE Advisory No. 20-02, which clarifies certain provisions of the DTI-DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of Covid-19, requires large-scale private companies or those with total assets above P100,000,000 to provide shuttle services for their employees. Medium-sized private establishments with total assets above P15M are also enjoined to provide shuttle services for their employees.

In case private establishments are unable to sustain the financial costs of providing shuttle services, they may adopt alternative arrangements, such as cost-sharing, to facilitate the transportation needs of their employees. Employers may also contract the use of public utility vehicles to subsidize public transport operations.

END/DJ Romero