Good news to public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators, drivers, and the riding public.
The Department of Transportation (DoTr), through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7, has approved an appeal of transport operators through the Office of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia seeking permission for PUJs to resume plying their routes.
Given a go signal to be back on the road are those plying the following routes: Mandaue-Liloan, Lutopan to Poblacion Toledo, Talisay-Naga, Talisay-Minglanilla, Talisay-San Fernando, Lapu-Lapu City to Mandaue City, Punta Engaño to Mandaue via Lapu-Lapu City, Marigondon to Mandaue via Lapu-Lapu City, Danao City-Mandaue City, Danao City-Sogod, Consolacion-Danao City, Consolacion-Mandaue, Compostela-Mandaue, and Cordova-Mandaue.
The LTFRB 7 and Land Transportation Office 7 will issue a special permit to the approved jeepney units. The units must also be prepared in accordance with mandatory health protocols such as the putting up of barriers and markers in imposing strict physical distancing, availability of hand sanitizing station, identification of passengers for contact tracing purposes, among others.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Governor Garcia talked on July 22 on the consideration given to transport operators and PUJ drivers to resume their passenger routes, on the condition that their units are certified road-worthy and if they are already consolidated as cooperatives or corporations.
"Sec. Tugade and I talked yesterday nga tugtan na ang PUJs apan kadto lang certified for road worthiness. Sa meeting nato sa Liloan last Friday (July 17) misugot man ang mga jeepney operators nga mag-modernize," according to Garcia in breaking this good news in her virtual presser today, July 23.
Garcia said that 80 percent of transport operators in the Province of Cebu are already consolidated as coops or corporations. While waiting for the approval of their bank loans in line with the modernization of jeepney units, the transport operators appealed to DoTr and LTFRB that they be allowed to ferry passengers under Modified General Community Quarantine risk classification which relaxes the strict movement of people.
"There may be other routes to be opened after this, so I am asking the local government units, our local chief executives to recommend other necessary additional routes to LTFRB," Garcia added.
LTFRB 7 will inspect the units in their respective areas.
"Mag-inspection ang LTFRB sa units in your areas. Aron makadagan na mo next week," Garcia addressed the transport operators through her livestream report.
Issuance of a special permit will be carried out in phases.
"This will be done in an orderly manner. Kay sunod gyud ta to the letter. We are strictly adhering to the guidelines set forth by LTFRB, kay basin duna na sa'y magsuwat diha'g Editorial nga gipadagan man gud ang mga jeep maong misaka ang kaso sa Covid. Maong hinay-hinayon lang ta ni sama sa atong pag-abli sa atong tourism activities," Garcia added. (Eleanor Valeros)