The Coalition of Drivers and Operators of UV Express Atbp. (Codex) said Sunday they are fully ready for the resumption of operations, but appealed to the government to allow more units on the road.
According to Codex president Rosalino Marable, the number of units that the LTFRB allowed back on the streets constitutes just a small percentage of the estimated 15,000 units registered.
"This is just a mere drop in the bucket and sa amin pong hanay ay siguro po maganda na kung kalahati nung 980 ay makatakbo, so kulang kulang po," he said in an interview on GMA Super Radyo dzBB.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Saturday announced that it has initially allowed 980 UV Express Units to ply the roads to and from Metro Manila and nearby provinces, serving 47 routes.
In line with this, Marable said he has appealed that Malacañang allow more UV Express units to resume operations, which could be implemented under a schedule similar to the coding scheme.
Under the proposed scheme, Marable said all UV Express units could be allowed to resume but will depend on their plate numbers, with 20% accommodated per day.
"Sa ganong paraan eh lahat ng mga UV Express na may legitimate franchise eh makatakbo at 'yung kanilang pamilya ay kanila namang mapakain," he said.
For his part, LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said the agency is not discounting the possibility of deploying additional modern and traditional jeepneys later to augment operations.
In the same interview, Marable said members of Codex are now fully prepared for Monday, the first day they will be allowed after over three months of lockdowns.
"Handang handa na po kami. Meron na po kaming thermal scanner, mga alcohol, mga marka para sa social distancing, mga forms para sa tracking purposes, at 'yung pong pagbabayad ng mga pasahero ay sa pagpasok na po ng aming terminal ay kokolektahin na," he said.
Marable said units are also being disinfected to ensure that units remain safe for passengers.
For his part, Federation of Ayala Center Transport Terminals Inc. president Rizalino Villaraza appealed for the LTFRB to also allow UV Express units in other areas.
"Ang bibiyahe pa lang is yung mga neighboring provinces," he said in a report on GMA's "24 Oras Weekend" on Sunday.
Another UV Express driver also appealed that they be allowed to hike fares given the additional expenses incurred to comply with safety protocols, even as operations are limited to 50%.
"Pinararating po namin sa LTFRB na sana pagaralan din po yung pamasahe po ng UV kasi matagal na panahong hindi kami nagiincrease ng pamasahe eh," he said. He was not identified in the report.
The Philippines has recorded a total of 34,803 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease as of Saturday, June 27, 2020. This includes 9,431 recoveries and 1,236 deaths. —LBG/BM, GMA News