Cebu moves enforcement of air purifier policy to Aug. 25

THE Cebu Provincial Government moved to Aug. 25, 2021 the implementation of the directive to use air purifiers in air-conditioned public utility vehicles (PUV) due to lack of supply.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia had initially set the implementation for Aug. 16.

The postponement should give all PUV operators enough time to secure wearable purifiers for their drivers and conductors, said Cebu South Bus Terminal Manager Carmen Quijano.

Quijano told SunStar Cebu that a Ceres Liner manager called her Monday, Aug. 16, to inform her that only 17 buses will operate due to the lack of wearable air purifiers.

She said that as of Sunday, Aug. 15, only 17 air purifiers were procured by bus operators in the Cebu South Bus Terminal while 25 were secured by operators in the North Bus Terminal.

Some suppliers could not immediately produce the air purifiers while some suppliers were not responsive, Quijano said.

She also said that as of 1 p.m. Monday, Ceres Liner reinforced its units after the announcement that the implementation was moved.

Quijano said only 57 out of 172 units from Ceres Liner are operational since the other units are air-conditioned.

The Provincial Government earlier clarified that the air purifier is required only for air-conditioned PUVs, which include buses, mini-buses and taxis, among others.

It said operators should acquire air purifiers for their vehicles and personal air purifier for their drivers and crew as a precaution against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The drivers and crew must also wear face masks and face shields.

“Transmission happens in the air, so if we could purify the air around us, it really helps,” Garcia said in a meeting with Cebu officials last Aug. 12.

The Department of Health, however, does not recommend wearable air purifiers, saying it has no effect on reducing the risk of contracting Covid-19. (MVE, LMY)