“I am not after the penalty. I am after the order,” said Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, in the wake of his decision to act on citizen reports of trip cutting by jeep drivers. The Manila City government is set to file for a temporary suspension of the entire Baclaran-Divisoria line at the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB). If the proposal is approved, jeeps will not be allowed to directly travel between the two areas throughout the duration of the suspension, which will be dictated by the LTFRB.

According to Moreno, complaints from commuters about drivers cutting trips persisted even after clearing operations were conducted in Divisoria. He was adamant that the erring drivers be held responsible for inconveniencing their passengers by charging them the same price for incomplete service. “Gusto ko ‘yung mga empleyado, trabahante, laborer, kapag tapos na ang otso oras nila, makauwi sila ng panatag, pamasahe nila ay tama, [at] ang biyahe nila ay kumpleto rin,” Moreno argued.

(I want employees, workers, and laborers to return home safely once their work hours are finished since they are able to pay the right price for a ride that gets them to their destination.)

Apart from the Baclaran-Divisoria route, the mayor also added that other jeepney routes were being monitored for incidents of trip cutting: “Meron pa, sa Morayta, sa may FEU, PSBA, nakahuli rin kami, isang kanto na lang, lilikuan mo na lang isang kanto, hindi pa itutuloy.” (There are others too in Morayta, near FEU, and near PSBA. We caught one jeep that only had to turn a corner but didn’t even continue his route.) Moreno acknowledged the rationale behind cutting trips in the past when several major roads in the city were heavily congested due to the large volume of vehicles and illegal vendors in the area. However, he no longer wishes to tolerate this act now that the local city government is undertaking efforts to ease traffic and relocate street vendors to other sites.

At the end of the day, Moreno is not doing this to retaliate, but rather to ensure that jeepney drivers are fulfilling the responsibilities expected of them. “‘Di kayo sumusunod, ito ay dapat normal niyo lang na sinusunod, kaakibat ng pribileheyo na binigay sa inyo ng estado,” he strongly reminded jeepney drivers. (You’re not complying even if this is what you should normally be doing as part of the privileges granted to you by the state.)

Photo Credit: Manila Public Information Office Official Facebook Page