UV Express vans are more likely to resume operations compared to traditional jeepneys, the Palace said on June 24.
Jeepneys have not been allowed to operate despite the eased restrictions of general community quarantine. Drivers have been out of business since March, forcing them to beg for food or financial assistance during this time.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, commuters in vans are seated facing the same direction, but for jeepneys, passengers face each other. Jeepneys can usually ferry about 10 to 18 people, depending on the vehicle’s length, with passengers facing one another. Because of this cramped face-to-face seating set-up, it could be difficult to follow social distancing measures.
Some drivers, however, have taken steps to enforce social distancing by putting up plastic barriers and limited the number of passengers per ride in order to stick to the health standards. Still, they remain banned from the road.
"I think the UV Express stands a better chance than jeepney," Roque said in an ANC interview.
Earlier, Roque said traditional jeepneys might be allowed if the buses, trains, and modern jeepneys currently operation were not enough.
"The priority of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) is still upholding public health and that is why as far as transportation is concerned it's not just cars that are being given priority," said Roque. He clarified that "It's not true that the favored mode of transportation is still private."