The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Thursday said operators of traditional jeepneys will have to get special permits from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) before they will be allowed to resume operations next week, according to Sandra Aguinaldo’s report on 24 Oras.
Before the special permits are issued, the DOTr said traditional jeepneys have to pass an emission test and road-worthiness test.
“Let’s say, for example, sinabi ‘itong operator na ito sige ikaw papasada ka,’ dapat ‘yong sasakyan niya dalhin niya sa LTO para ma-check. ‘Yong katawan niya baka naman karag-karag na o kaya ‘yong mga upuan butas. Makikita mo naman hitsura ng jeep kung tagilid na eh or maayos pa eh,” said DOTr senior consultant Alberto Suansing.
“Kasama ‘yon sa inspection eh. ‘Yong sinabi nilang lalagyan nila ng plastic shield ‘yong driver tapos ‘yong pagitan noong dalawang pasahero,” Suansing added.
He also said only a limited number of traditional jeepneys will be allowed to ply the roads next week but only on travel routes that are not reached by buses, trains and modernized jeeps.
Meanwhile, PISTON national president Mody Floranda condemned the DOTr’s guidelines, saying this might be the government’s way to take traditional jeepneys off the roads.
“Mariin po naming kino-condemn ‘yong usapin noong pagsasapilit ng LTFRB at DOTr na kami ay pag-aplayin ng permit para makapag-operate,” Floranda said. “Pinapayagan kami na magpatakbo ng sasakyan ayon sa aming prangkisa sa loob nga po ng limang taon.”
“‘Yong 579 routes sa National Capital Region ay ‘yan po ay ruta ng mga traditional jeepney ng matagal nang panahon. Parang gusto nilang burahin ‘yong mga may lehitimong ruta,” Floranda added.
Moreover, Suansing said traditional jeepneys will only be allowed to operate until December 30. Their franchise will be revoked afterwards.
“We’re trying to straighten up things. ‘Yong mga maling gawa, binabago natin, dinidiretso natin. Hanggang December 30, binibigyan natin sila ng pagkakataong mamasada. After December 30, kanseladong lahat ‘yong prangkisa,” he said.
Earlier, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also said only road-worthy traditional jeepneys would be permitted to ply the roads next week.
“Tapatan po, wala pong kasiguraduhan. Ang sinasabi natin yung kulang pa po ang masasakyan matapos ng bus, ang modern jeepneys, ang mga SUVs, ay papayagan ang ilang mga jeepneys na deemed to be road-worthy,” he said.
However, Roque denied that the jeepney modernization program, which targets aging vehicles, had nothing to do with the COVID-19 crisis that sidelined thousands of drivers. -- Ma. Angelica Garcia/BAP, GMA News