CEBU

Some TPUJ drivers refuse to operate again

THE Cebu City Jeepney Task Force (JTF) has released a total of 170 “Balik Pasada” permits for traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) as of Nov. 27, 2020, the last day of the holding of the one-stop shop for the processing of the permits at the North Reclamation Area.

On Nov. 27, the JTF released 29 Balik Pasada permits for TPUJs with routes to Alumnos, Mambaling with code number 08G (one unit); Guadalupe with code 06C (three units); Talamban with code 13C (one unit); Lahug with code 04L (four units); Bulacao with code 10F (five units); Labangon with codes 12L (three units), 12D (two units) and 12G (three units); Basak with codes 09C (one unit) and 09G (two units); Inayawan with code 11A (three units); and 62C bound for Pit-os (one unit).

On the other hand, Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, JTF chairman, said the JTF printed 200 Balik Pasada identification cards for the TPUJ drivers, but only 78 were claimed as of Nov. 27.

Citing the reasons of the drivers, Cuenco said the drivers found it non-profitable to operate because of the low volume of passengers.

Of the 1,373 TPUJ drivers who applied for the Balik Pasada program, only 248 were done with Covid-19 testing, specifically, a pooled polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Only 356 TPUJ drivers too were done with the driver’s seminar.

Cuenco said the remaining drivers and units that were not able to avail of the one-stop shop can still process their application, but they have to do it on their own.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella reminded the drivers to follow health protocol so their operations will not be halted again.

Meanwhile, jeepney drivers and operators in Mandaue City have yet to acquire the Team Clearance, the first requirement to be submitted at the one-stop shop which will operate on Dec. 1 to 4 at the Mandaue City Sports Complex.

According to Arnold Malig-on, operations head of the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team), they have been contacting jeepney drivers and operators but no one has gone to their office yet.

Before the drivers and operators can claim their special permit, they must first present their Team Clearance and their swab test result that shows they are negative for Covid-19, said Malig-on.

He believes that the jeepney drivers have not processed their Team Clearance yet because of their pending penalties for past violations.

However, it was agreed last week by the committee on transportation chaired by Councilor Jimmy Lumapas that the penalty can now be paid by installment and they will be given a Provisional Team Clearance.

The Provisional Team Clearance expires after six months and can be renewed for up to one year after the driver pays his pending penalties within six months. / JJL / KFD


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