Lift MRT, LRT ban on seniors, pregnant women, CHR appeals to DOTr

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Train operations once ECQ is removed from Metro Manila

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights has appealed to the Department of Transportation on Friday, to revisit its policy that would ban elderly persons and pregnant women from riding the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transits (LRT) when the proposed general community quarantine takes into effect.

CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit said that she urged DOTr to revisit the policy as banning them could be discriminatory.

“There is no telling how this could later result in individually-imposed restrictions, such as by tricycle, jeepney, and bus operators and drivers,” she said.

Disinfection process against Covid19 in the Manila Metro (Src: Twitter)

“We appeal to the DOTr to revisit this policy. The MRT and LRT are major transportation options for the commuting public in Metro Manila. Banning older people and pregnant women in these major transportation options, at any time, and especially in the middle of a health crisis, potentially restricts their ability to access essential goods and services or go to work,” Karen added.

The General Community Quarantine (GCQ) protocols requires elderly persons to remain in their residences at all times, except under circumstances such as btaining essential goods and services or for work allowed by the government.

“Banning older people and pregnant women in these major transportation options, at any time, and especially in the middle of a health crisis, potentially restricts their ability to access essential goods and services or to go to work. This is permitted by the GCQ protocols,” The policy guideline dated back May 2, states that senior citizens and pregnant women will not be allowed to travel via the MRT, LRT, and PNR “due to their susceptibility to coronavirus disease (COVID-19).”

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