CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has issued an executive order (EO) extending the validity of special permits issued to 170 modernized public utility jeepneys (MPUJs) plying the cities of Talisay, Mandaue, and Naga and the towns of Minglanilla, Liloan and Consolacion for 45 days starting Feb. 1, 2023.

Garcia issued EO 5, series of 2023 on Tuesday, Jan. 31, after meeting with the mayors of the five local government units and officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-Central Visayas (LTFRB 7) who announced that the special permits issued to MPUJs were set to expire on the same day.

But before Garcia issued her plan, LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. had issued Order 2023-R7-001, extending the validity of special permits issued to the MPUJs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.

“In the exigency of service, all special permits are extended up to 3 February 2023, to facilitate the filing and paying the appropriate fees for renewal of special permits,” read a portion of Montealto’s order. “All special permits are deemed canceled if the operator has an unsettled pending violation. No special permit is tantamount to colorum operations. This shall take effect immediately.”

Before signing the EO, Garcia had called for a meeting with Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr., Consolacion Mayor Teresa “Nene” Alegado and Minglanilla Mayor Rajiv Enad on Tuesday, Jan. 31, after they sought her help.

The mayors said MPUJs ply routes daily from the cities of Naga and Talisay and the municipalities of Minglanilla, Liloan and Consolacion to Cebu IT Park in Cebu City and vice versa.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Gullas said around 45 MPUV units travel from Barangay Tabunok to Cebu IT Park and to Parkmall in Mandaue City would no longer ply those routes starting Feb. 1.

“I was truly saddened by this development as workers living in Talisay City who would take these jeeps to IT Park and Parkmall could be affected by this. Instead of just taking one ride, they will need to ride two or three more trips just to get to their destinations. I pity the riding public,” Gullas said in Cebuano.

Montealto said in an earlier interview that they have been renewing the special permits of MPUJs in the concerned local government units whose local public transport route plans have not yet been approved by their office. (ANV, PAC, JKV / TPT)