MORE public utility jeepneys (PUJs) are needed in Baguio City amid the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), according to the Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU).
Police Major Oliver Panabang, TEU chief of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), explained since the change in the status of the city, the number of workers has increased.
“There was an increase in the number of workers and those categorized as Authorized Persons Out of Residence (APOR), which is why we see the need for additional PUJs,” Panabang said.
This was also the same observation of the majority of City Council, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office and PUJ operators.
“We have discussed this with the various sectors and we are coming up with ways or measures on how to systematically add PUJs that would service the riding public returning to their workplace,” the traffic chief said.
During the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), a small number of PUJs were only allowed to provide barangay services, particularly during the scheduled market day and emergencies. Under GCQ, a limited number of jeeps were allowed to ply their routes in Baguio City.
“We are calling on the public to bear with us as we are continuously looking for ways on how we could help them through the additional PUJs that will be permitted to ply the various routes of the city during this MGCQ period,” Panabang added.
Councilor Benny Bomogao said it was agreed among stakeholders to increase the number of jeepneys plying the streets, provided guidelines for safety protocols and roadworthiness tests mandated by the LTFRB, LTO and BCPO are met.
Bomogao said equal opportunities to earn must be given to jeepney operators and drivers during the modified community quarantine.
The City Government has likewise stepped into dialogues with the transport sector and stressed everyone will be given the chance to earn, provided all tests for roadworthiness, smoke emissions, as well as guidelines on social distancing, are met.
Guidelines on smoke testing facilitated by the CEPMO and provisional permits issued by the BCPO is being ironed out for PUJs before they proceed to the LTFRB and LTO.
Bomogao said “Yan din ang gustong mangyari ni mayor [Magalong] para lahat sana ng mga drivers and operators ay mabigyan ng tsansa na mamasada para may makain. But not compromising health standards, roadworthiness of our public transport and also as a way of compliance with other requirements by the transportation regulation agencies. (With a report from Maria Elena Catajan)