Malacañang on Monday urged local government units (LGUs) to establish bike lanes in their respective localities due to limited public transportation in areas under community quarantine.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made this call as he acknowledged that Filipinos have turned to biking since it is an ideal mode of transport that allows for physical distancing.

“Nanawagan po kami sa mga LGUs, mag provide po kayo ng mga bike lanes at ito nga po ang pet project ng ating Senator Francis Tolentino (We appeal to the LGUs to provide bike lanes in their places and this is a pet project of Senator Francis Tolentino),” Roque said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

Tolentino was Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman during the previous administration.

Public transportation is temporarily suspended in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ.

LGUs have been providing healthcare workers and other front-liners in ECQ and MECQ areas with transportation.

Companies have been encouraged to provide shuttle services to employees working in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

In areas under GCQ, public transport can operate from a 10 to 50 percent capacity, Roque said.

There will be 50 percent capacity in areas under modified GCQ, he added.

ECQ, the most stringent community quarantine, has been imposed in Cebu and Mandaue cities until May 31.

Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales and Angeles City have been placed under MECQ while the rest of the areas in the country are under GCQ.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the government eyes the implementation of a barangay-based lockdown after the end of the MECQ in Metro Manila on May 31.

He said villages identified as “critical zones” or with many cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) could be placed under lockdown while the nearby villages are called “containment zones,” and the ones with no cases of Covid-19 are the “buffer zones”.

Buffer zone villages could ease the restrictions on the movement of the people and open some business establishments, he said

However, he said the lockdown is not limited to villages as it could be implemented to smaller units such as subdivisions and neighborhoods.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will decide on the fate of the ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ nationwide based on scientific and economic factors, subject to the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte. (PNA)