THE 40 modern public utility vehicles (PUVs) proposed for use in Cebu City will soon ferry passengers.
Francisco Ouano, Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) operations head, said Mayor Tomas Osmeña ordered him to fast-track the fulfillment of the requirements so modern PUVs could start operating.
Persano Corp., the operator of the modern PUVs, welcomed the development.
“We are very thankful that we can start implementing the PUV Modernization Program. I’m sure commuters are looking forward to a new travel experience,” said Persano Corp. chairman Vigor Mendoza in Tagalog.
But some members of the public transport sector criticized the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for approving the provisional authority of Persano Corp. without undertaking a public hearing.
Awaiting council nod
Ouano said Osmeña immediately approved the travel line for the new PUVs as he sees them as a solution to the need for more public transport in the city.
Ouano said they will submit their recommendation to City Councilors Dave Tumulak and Eugenio Gabuya Jr. so they can draft the resolution needed for the City Council’s approval.
Tumulak said the proposed resolution to grant a 45-day provisional authority to the modern PUVs won’t be tackled next week as some of them will be attending an activity organized by the Philippine Councilors League.
But once the City approves the provisional authority, the CCTO will conduct a month-long study to determine if a travel line should be issued that will allow the modern PUVs to cater to passengers full time, Ouano said.
He said they are also preparing for contingencies in case public transport groups object to the new travel line.
Mendoza said they are in the process of providing a baseline for the salaries and incentives of their drivers, who will come from the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative.
Mendoza said they are trying to ensure their drivers will receive a fixed income, as mandated by the PUV Modernization Program.
“Definitely, kung ibabase natin sa natatanggap sa mga drayber sa (if we’re going to base their salary on the salary of drivers in) Manila, it’s more than the minimum,” he said.
Meanwhile, Romeo Armamento, National Confederation of Transport Union (NCTU) Visayas national vice president, said he was worried that the operation of the modern PUVs would affect their drivers and operators.
He said the LTFRB didn’t even consult PUV drivers and operators when it decided to issue the 90-day provisional authority to Persano Corp.
“They should have studied the routes to determine who would be affected before they approved the provisional authority. Then again, the national government always gives in when dealing with big-time operators,” he said in Cebuano.
He said jeepneys with franchise numbers 07D and 06C, which travel from downtown Cebu City to Sitio Banawa in Barangay Guadalupe; 17C and 04C, which travel from downtown Cebu City to Ramos St., D. Jakosalem St. to Gorordo Ave.; and 03A, which travels from downtown Cebu City to Panagdait, among others, will be affected by the modern PUVs’ operation.
Based on Persano Corp.’s proposal to Cebu City, the 40 modern PUVs will ply two routes.
Twenty modern PUVs will travel along Paseo Arcenas in Sitio Banawa to Happy Valley, B. Rodriguez, Fuente Osmeña, Ramos, D. Jakosalem, Gorordo Ave., Ayala Center Cebu, Panagdait, and Sykes Philippines at F. Cabahug St. and vice versa.
The other 20 modern PUVs will travel along Cebu City Hall to Robinsons Galleria, Cebu Business Park, Cebu I.T. Park and vice versa.
The modern PUVs, which are required to ply their routes every 30 minutes, will operate for 20 hours, with two drivers taking 10-hour shifts.
Terminals for the modern PUVs will operate 24 hours.
The Persano Corp. is in talks with owners of malls and commercial districts for the establishment of loading and unloading points for the modern PUVs.
On Sunday, Dec. 9, 18 modern PUV units will arrive from Manila to complete the 40 units with provisional authority.
The modern PUVs were manufactured in China and Russia.
The Russian model can accommodate at least 30 passengers, while the Chinese model can accommodate 34. From PAC, SCG of Superbalita Cebu / JKV