Traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJs) may resume operations in Cebu province’s thoroughfares under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), provided they are roadworthy and will only ply on feeder lines, said Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Monday.
Garcia said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, in a phone conversation on Monday, agreed “to waive the hierarchy of public transport” in Cebu so that PUJs may be allowed to ferry passengers for as long as they are not “kagang-kagang” (dilapidated).
In a press conference, she said PUJ drivers and operators should also comply with the guidelines of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) in permitting public transport during MGCQ.
Tugade asked the governor to write a letter asking the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to allow traditional jeepneys to ply the original routes covered under their respective certificates of public convenience or franchises issued by the LTFRB.
“I have fulfilled my promise to you to seek for representation with the DOTr so that you can go back to your livelihood after four months of hiatus,” Garcia said, referring to the drivers and operators whom she met in a dialogue in the northern town of Liloan in Cebu last Friday.
Eduardo Montealto Jr., LTFRB-Central Visayas regional director, said jeepney drivers must secure a roadworthiness certification from the LTO to see to it that their units comply with the standards for public transport and environmental restrictions.
“For example, smoke-belching PUJs are not allowed anymore,” he told the Philippine News Agency, adding that operators must also secure an endorsement from the local government unit (LGU) to prevent them from competing with the tricycles if they are allowed on feeder roads.
Montealto said a feeder road is one that comes from the interior alleys or barangay streets up to the designated bus stops of the town.
The LTO certification of inspection for roadworthiness and LGU endorsement will be attached to the operator’s application for a special permit (SP) from the LTFRB-7, he said.
In case the DOTr allows traditional PUJs to take their original routes under their franchises, Montealto said operators will no longer be allowed to apply for SP individually as the Transportation agency will only entertain applications from consolidated organizations, such as cooperatives or corporations.
The consolidated application, he said, is on top of the requirements such as proof of roadworthiness.
Meanwhile, Garcia said she will leave it to the DOTr to determine the fare once the traditional jeepneys are allowed to resume operations, pointing out that the required 50-percent capacity should entail an increase. (PNA)