Commuters irate over lack of PUVs

(Photo by Macky Lim)

SEVERAL commuters expressed dismay and frustration after they were stranded Friday, January 24, due to the lack of public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the northern part of Davao City.

Rhona Villariasa, a resident of Barangay Indangan, expressed her dismay on a lengthy post on her Facebook account over how it was not easy to get a ride due to the small number of vehicles. She waited for almost an hour before she was able to grab a ride.

Being pregnant, she was frustrated at the hassle it has caused her and to other commuters who were either going to work, school, or running other errands. While she understood the reason and the purpose of why there were a few vehicles on the streets, she said that the government should’ve anticipated and provided a contingency plan.

“Dear City Government of Davao and CTTMO, ‘wa gyud koy pagbabag anang bus nay managan sa kadalanan sa city kay mao gyud na akong gusto nga tawhay ang paminsar sa mga pasahero samtang ga commute, di ng mag abot ang isig tuhod sa pasahero, maipit imong bilbil, hapit namo magkambyo og nawong sa kaguot. Pero pag ani gud naay consultation sana na anticipate gyud daan ang kadaghang pasahero nga natanggong (Dear City Government of Davao and CTTMO, I fully support the planned bus system in Davao City as it would provide a comfortable ride for Dabawenyos. However, if there are consultations like these, situations like these must be anticipated considering that a lot were stranded),” Villariasa said.

Photos of commuters from Tibungco, Panacan, and Sasa waiting along the sidewalks for a ride circulated over social media.

“Luoy kaayo ang mga tiguwang, buros, tanan gyud nga mangatol na lang sa ilang ulo bisan di katol kay naguol kay wa pa gyud kasakay (Situations like these are not easy for the pregnant women and the elderly who are becoming frustrated for not being able to get a ride),” she said on her post.

In a separate post, Joar Montemor Petiluna shared his sentiment on the insufficient number public utility jeepneys (PUJs) on Friday. Petiluna said the government should’ve just scheduled their activity on Sunday since there are lesser people commuting during that day. Considering that it was weekday, many people suffered inconvenience.

“Di lalim naa koy nakita passenger nay baby wala lang nakuha sa video Looy kaayo init raba jud. Pakyaw tawon kog motor pahatod padung work damage ang allowance. Saon nalang kaya mga estudyante di tanan maka afford taxi etc. Naa sad inahan naay elementary na Kids dala nabulad tawon og init [It was not easy waiting for a ride. There were even mothers who were carrying their babies. To avoid the inconvenience, I hired a motorcycle driver to drop me at my workplace. I also pitied the elementary students who have to endure the heat],” Petiluna said.

Consultative meeting

In an interview Friday with Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Davao regional director lawyer Armand Dioso, he said they have anticipated the possible problem. They initially coordinated with a bus company but some of the bus units were down Friday.

Dioso, through the Office Circular No. 04 Series of 2020, has called all the PUJ operators and drivers in the north for a consultation dialogue with the social development program technical working group of High Priority Bus System (HPBS) Friday at Bunawan Gym, Barangay Bunawan.

“In the interest of public service, and pursuant to the implementation of the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) in Davao City consistent with the PUV Modernization Program of the Duterte Administration, all operators, and drivers of Public Utility Jitneys (PUJs) (are mandated to attend the dialogue),” Dioso said.

The drivers and operators who were called are those traversing the routes in Bunawan – Roxas Ave. via Buhangin; Tibungco – via Cabaguio; Bunawan – Roxas Ave. via Sasa; Sasa – J.P. Laurel Lasang – Roxas Ave. via Buhangin; Sasa- R. Castillo; Lasang – Roxas Ave. via Sasa; Panacan - Buhangin via Ilustre; Mahayag (Bunawan) – J.P. Laurel via Cabantian; Panacan via Cabaguio; Tibungco – via R.Castillo; Panacan via J.P. Laurel; Tibungo – via Buhangin; and Panacan – S.M. Ecoland.

Also the routes Landmark III, Camp Catitipan via J.P. Laurel; Mandug – J.P. Laurel; Camp Catitipan via J.P. Laurel; Suraya Homes (Cabantian) – J.P. Laurel; Camp Catitipan via Dacudao Tigatto – J.P. Laurel; Country Homes (Cabantian) – J.P. Laurel; Buhangin via Dacudao Emily Homes (Cabantian) – J.P. Laurel; Buhangin via J.P. Laurel; Indangan – J.P. Laurel Acacia – J.P. Laurel; Jade Valley Subd. – J.P. Laurel; Brgy. Communal – J.P. Laurel; Juliville via Buhangin – J.P. Laurel; Cabantian – J.P. Laurel; Callawa – J.P. Laurel; and Sasa – Cabaguio.

Dioso said in the previous consultative meeting that they had, there was no similar problem like yesterday. Upon learning the situation on the ground in the morning, he coordinated with LCI and Bachelor Express bus companies to provide bus augmentation for the stranded passengers. There were at least nine bus units which were deployed starting in Tibungco.

CTTMO and other government officials have sent vehicles to provide free transportation for the passengers.

To avoid a similar incident in the next dialogue, Dioso said that they will have a meeting with the CTTMO to ensure that there will be enough vehicles running on the roads.

He said that there were around 2,000 PUJ operators and drivers who attended the dialogue.


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