Around 2,000 public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers from Lapu-Lapu City have been trained to manage the first fleet of modern jeepneys under the national government’s jeepney modernization program, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Region 7 or Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) said on Tuesday.

LTFRB-7 Regional Director Edgardo Montealto Jr. said the drivers were the first to respond to the call of the government to embrace jeepney modernization.

Montealto said that the drivers’ training is part of LTFRB-7’s “Drivers’ Academy” which gives training to drivers who have applied for consolidation and route rationalization plan in line with the Duterte administration’s jeepney modernization program.

The board, he said, is also coordinating with the local government units (LGUs) in crafting a route plan that will consist of new routes for modern jeepneys targeted to become operational April this year.

“Silay (LGUs) naay kalibutan pag-umol anang route plan (They are the ones knowledgeable in coming up with a route plan). Six months from December last year, dapat ma-submit na ang route plan (they should submit the route plan),” Montealto said in a radio interview.

In the route plan, he said, LGUs should determine which routes are either under-served or over-served.

Under-served routes are those areas where there is a lot of passengers but with lesser PUJs plying the route, while over-served routes are those where there are more PUJs but with lesser passenger volume, he said.

Montealto also said his office has seen a positive reaction from transport stakeholders on the national government’s effort to modernize the public transport system.

For her part, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza told the Philippine News Agency that her city is ready to embrace the Duterte administration’s jeepney modernization program.

“The city government of Lapu-Lapu fully supports the program of our beloved President Rodrigo “Digong” Roa Duterte for the modernization of public transportation,” she said.

The mayor said the city government and the LTFRB-7 will launch the Public Electronic Jeeps on February 8, 2019 at the City Hall compound in Barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City. (PNA)