DOTr set to implement 75% capacity in public transportation

Updated Feb 18, 2021 | Same topic: COVID-19 Updates

This is part of efforts to allow more people to work and revive the economy.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) says that it is ready to increase passenger capacity for public transport vehicles to 75 percent, in line with the recommendations made by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

Jeepney passengers

The DOTr will soon allow public transport vehicles to carry more passengers

In a statement, the agency said that it is only awaiting the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), as well as the directive of the Cabinet.

“We leave the NEDA proposal to the evaluation of the IATF being the primary agency tasked to formulate plans and rules during this period of the pandemic as the country moves forward towards the new normal,” the DOTr said, adding that it will continue to enforce minimum public health safety protocols in public transport vehicles and facilities.

MRT passengers

Minimum public health protocols will still be observed

>>> Related: New Normal: How the general quarantine will affect our drives

NEDA Director-General Karl Kendrick Chua earlier recommended that public transport capacities be increased, allowing more people to return to work.

He also proposed further downgrading the country’s lockdown status to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) by March 1, 2021, to aid businesses that have closed or are operating in a reduced capacity because of the pandemic.

At present, public transportation is limited to 50 percent capacity, with a “one-seat apart” policy imposed on passengers as part of public health standards.

The higher capacity is part of NEDA’s proposal to bolster the country’s efforts at economic recovery, which includes allowing more provincial buses to operate, expanding the age groups allowed to leave their homes, and resuming pilot testing of face-to-face classes.

>>> Related: Driver, passengers should wear face masks, says DOTr and DOH

Bike lane

Alternative modes of transport such as cycling are also encouraged

In September 2020, the DOTr and the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) recommended that the required 1-meter physical distance between commuters be adjusted in gradual increments to 0.3 meters, as a way of increasing ridership in public transport.   

Quarantine restrictions brought about by COVID-19 have resulted in a 9.5 percent contraction in 2020 due to reduced economic activity. NEDA says that the country will continue to experience a negative gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2021.

More transport-related updates at

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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