Allowing traditional jeepneys to operate needs further study, says Ferro

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THE director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7) believes that the Cebu City government's move to allow traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) to reoperate should be carefully studied first before implementation.

Police Brigadier Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, PRO 7 director, said he plans to meet with Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella to dialogue with him on this matter.

“We should talk. The decision making is a collegial initiative. I will ask the good mayor for more dialogue and brain storming because I think in some places in the Philippines, jeepneys are not yet allowed,” Ferro told reporters on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.

Earlier this week, Labella approved the initial resumption of operations of 1,355 TPUJs in Cebu City.

In an executive order, Labella said the resumption of TPUJ operations covers 18 routes from 10 barangays in the city.

The approval was based on the recommendation of the Cebu City Jeepney Task Force, which was formed for the Balik Pasada Program.

But Ferro said despite the decision of the Cebu City government to allow TPUJs to reoperate again, they plan to make adjustments to their security preparations to prevent infections from occuring.

“So if our local government is willing to take that risk, we in the security cluster would like to recalibrate those risks. With these jeepneys being allowed, we have to really come up with a best analysis on this and come up with best courses of action because we cannot allow for us to return to ECQ," Ferro added.

He added that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases (IATF) should also be consulted as well.

Ferro is a member of IATF due to his role as commander of the Regional Joint Task Force-Central Visayas Covid Shield.

Ferro also urged local officials to not hasten measures to allow TPUJs to reoperate and avoid regreting those decisions later on.

Ferro said even if the Cebu City government will proceed with its plan to allow TPUJs to operate again, the local police will continue implementing quarantine control points and will even implement contact tracing to ensure that Covid-19 will not spread in the city further.

If those quarantine control measures are lifted, the public might grow complacent and would lead to more infections again, Ferro added. (AYB)

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