IF NOT for my health condition, there would be no reason for me to complain over the poor or lack of jeepney service along the route to and from Maria Basa here in Baguio. For one under four times-a-week dialysis, I can hardly walk from the house to the Tiptop and Maria Basa crossing and then spend some time waiting for and hoping a jeep with a space passes by.
Most often, however, drivers plying the route are “siguristas”. They fill their jeepneys at Maria Basa, leaving us along their route to wait for taxis. Or walk down Pacdal Circle for a jeep, something I can no longer do, given my health condition.
It’s a bonus, a rare occasion when a jeep from Maria Basa with seats to spare passes by. Even taxis become a rarity, especially during mornings, when I have to go to the hospital for my blood-cleansing session.
The drivers are badly wanting of a sense of public service. They fill up at the staging area inside Maria Basa without thought of their supposed-to-be regular passengers along the route to the Pacdal Circle.
I was narrating this insensitivity to the driver of a taxi I boarded for downtown and he told me he is fully aware of the situation, of the feeling of abandonment we passengers along the way experience.
“Kasta met laeng to rikna mi nga taga Bubon ta napunno aming nga sumang-at nga jeep aggapu idiay Acupan ken Balatoc,” the cabbie told me.
Bubon is that village between the mining communities of Balatoc and Kias. Students, workers and others from the place have no choice but to walk a good one or two kilometers to the Kias area before they can board a jeep. Drivers plying the route to Acupan and Balatoc fill up their units there, leaving no space for the people in Bubon and towards Kias.
“What’s condemnable is the gesture of some jeepney drivers who shout in protest at cabbies and other drivers who pick up their would-be passengers along the way,” another cabbie told me. “Awan la ngaruden ti ibati da nga pagluganan mi, pagungtan da pay ti taxi nga mangilugan kaniami.”
The irony is that drivers of jeepneys owned by residents of Pacdal but plying different routes do not pick up passengers, out of respect for those whose responsibility it is to serve passengers along the route to Maria Basa.
This passenger’s complaint may be nothing to the fit andhealthy, but it is serious to people like me who can hardly walk and do not have the luxury of flagging down taxis four times a week to be able to go to the dialysis center.
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