THE drivers who will be affected by the implementation of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project will be given alternative livelihood.
This was the assurance that Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña gave to the more 100 public utility vehicle (PUV) driver-members of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) Cebu Chapter.
The group yesterday held a protest against the several components of the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines, including the implementation of alternative transport systems such as the BRT.
Greg Perez, Piston Cebu coordinator, said that the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines will phase out public utility vehicles (PUV) and pave the way for road rationalization, among others.
In Cebu City alone, Perez said that at least 20 PUV routes in major roads will soon be made exclusive to the 16-kilometer BRT, leaving drivers and sidewalk vendors in a compromised situation.
But Osmeña said that he is willing to allocate funds for livelihood seminars and programs for them.
“Progress can’t be stopped, but everyone affected deserves to be heard. I’m not an expert in traffic, but an alternative will be provided,” he said.
Among the options that the mayor is proposing is setting aside road lanes exclusively for PUVs in the downtown area once the BRT becomes operational.
With the number of schools and establishments around, the mayor said the area will be an ideal location for the drivers to continue their business.
Aside from this, Osmeña also wants to create a security force where all drivers aged 50 and above will be trained to work in City Hall.
The City Government also plans to open trade and livelihood seminars for the affected families as a holistic measure to address the issue on income loss.
Perez said their group welcomes Osmeña’s proposals and that more meetings will be held in the future so these will be realized. (RTF)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on July 18, 2017.
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