53 TPUJ drivers test negative for coronavirus

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THE test results of 53 drivers of traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) that serve Cebu City routes have been released and they are negative.

The 53 drivers were among the first 200 who underwent the pooled polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on Nov. 9, 2020.

City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco said the vehicles of the 53 drivers will be the first to undergo inspection on Nov. 20 at the one-stop shop organized by the inspection units of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 and the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO).

Cuenco said the swab testing was done by a team from the Emergency Operations Center in coordination with the Department of Health 7.

Cuenco said the 53 drivers’ TPUJs serve the Guadalupe and Lahug routes.

Paul Gotiong, CCTO deputy head for operations, said another batch of TPUJ drivers took a coronavirus disease 2019 test on Monday, Nov. 16.

Gotiong said the task force targets to test 400 drivers once a week until all the 1,300 TPUJ drivers registered under the Balik Pasada Program are tested.

A negative result is one of the requirements before TPUJ drivers are allowed to operate. The others are a certificate from the CCTO that the driver completed the CTO seminar and an approval from the LTO 7 and LTFRB 7 that the driver’s unit passed the roadworthiness and emission tests.

TPUJ units must have barriers inside, a drop box for the fare, disinfectants and a poster of health protocols.

TPUJs are expected to be back on the road starting on Friday, Nov. 20. /JJL