THE City Government of Bacolod provided an additional 21 public utility jeepneys (PUJs) for the "Libre Sakay" program of the city.
Councilor Dindo Ramos, chairperson of the City Council committee on transportation, stressed this Tuesday, September 22, saying it will cater to all the medical and health workers and essential workers in various areas of Bacolod.
"From September 21, we already have a total of 63 drivers who were operating from 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. from seven terminals in different areas and they will be paid of P3,000 each," Ramos said.
He said they provided additional PUJs because there were some medical and essential workers who were stranded in identified terminals.
"We observed that our PUJs are not enough to cater all the medical and health workers including the essential workers in various areas," he added.
The Libre Sakay program was implemented on September 14 after Mayor Evelio Leonardia requested Ramos and Councilor Cindy Rojas to meet with the transportation group leaders in Bacolod.
The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) has assigned seven point-to-point jeepney routes in Barangays Granada, Estefania, Bata, Banago, Sum-ag, Handumanan, and Mansilingan. Each driver was tasked to ply 10 round-trips per day along one assigned route.
Leonardia earlier said the Libre Sakay is a program of the city to address the suspension of public transportation in Bacolod as it has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from September 8 to 30.
Under the MECQ, public transportation is not allowed as mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Moreover, Ramos said they also respect the sentiments of other PUJ drivers who assembled at the Old City Hall on Monday, September 21.
He said they already approved a resolution last week asking the city mayor to provide financial or food assistance to the affected sectors such as drivers, among others who were affected of the MECQ.
He added the City Mayor's Office is working hard to address this concern.