Just like the UV Express, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is also crafting guidelines for the resumption of operation of traditional jeepneys, a Department of Transportation consultant said Monday.
Engr. Alberto Suansing, DOTr road sector senior consultant, admitted that modern jeepneys are not enough serve the riding public in Metro Manila even amid the general community quarantine.
“Actually kung talagang pag-uusapan ang mga ruta dito sa Metro Manila, hindi makasasapat ang bilang ng modern jeepneys kaya nga naghahanda tayo na pati na rin ‘yung UV Express ay magamit, at saka ‘yung traditional jeepneys,” Suansing said in an interview with Unang Hirit.
“As I’ve said, inaayos lang ng LTFRB ‘yung kanilang guidelines kung paano maisasakatuparan na makalabas sila,” he added.
During the interview, Mar Valbuena, a jeepney operator and president of Samahang Manibela, asked Suansing if they still need to secure a special permit to operate.
“Ang bawat samahan ng UV Express at traditional jeepney, pwedeng kami na lang ang magpatupad ng alternate na pagbyahe ng aming mga sasakyan, hindi kailangang lumabas lahat isang araw. Kami na lang ang magbibigay ng guidelines sa mga myembro sa UV Express at jeepney,” said Valbuena.
He said the UV Express and jeepney drivers need to return to work as they no longer have money to feed their families and provide for other needs.
Suansing said they are already studying such option but one of the consideration is how it can be enforced.
“Pinag-aaralan ang bagay na ‘yan, merong mungkahing ganyan. Tinitignan dyan ang practicality lalo na pagdating sa enforcement. Hindi lang kayo ang kausap ng LTFRB pagdating sa UV Express operation,” he said.
“Hindi tayo nakakasiguro ng katinuan ng ibang UV Express operator o driver na susunod sila sa ganyang patakaran,” he added.
He said the DOTr wanted to make sure that the health of the public will not be compromised when the government allows UV Express and traditional jeepneys to ply their routes.
“Inaayos lang ‘yung guidelines. Sumusunod tayo sa panuntunan. Bagamat ang mandato ng DOTr is transportasyon, meron pa rin kaming responsibilidad lalo na pagdating sa health issue. Ayaw namin na mag-contribute ang transpotatsyon sa pagdami ng COVID cases,” he said.
He added they deployed inspectors to check the implementation of social distancing in public vehicles.
“Mula sa bus hanggang sa tricycle, meron kaming nagbabantay na dapat nasusunod ang social distancing,” he said.
Suansing earlier said deployment of UV Express units on Monday will not push through since the routes are still being determined.
Malacañang earlier said “roadworthy” traditional jeepneys will be allowed to ply roads if modern units are not enough to accommodate the volume of commuters.
According to DOTr, the gradual resumption of public transportation under the general community quarantine is in two phases. The first phase—where trains, bus augmentation, taxis, transport network vehicle services, shuttle services, point-to-point buses, and bicycles are allowed—is from June 1 to 21.
Under the second phase starting June 22 to 30, public utility buses, modern public utility vehicles (PUVs) or jeepneys, and UV Express vehicles will be allowed.—AOL, GMA News