ONLY three routes for traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) from Talisay City have been opened in Cebu City.
Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, chairman of the transportation committee, said they’re only allowing inter-city routes as of this time.
The Jeepney Task Force (JTF), which Cuenco leads, still needs to secure clearance from the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) before the mayor’s office can allow the entry of TPUJs from neighboring cities and towns.
He said that one of the factors for the delay of the EOC’s approval is the recent rise in the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in Metro Cebu.
“The problem is bad timing. We need to balance accessibility to transportation and, at the same time, follow protocol,” he said in Cebuano.
He said the operation of TPUJs might once again be hampered if Covid-19 cases continues to go up.
Cuenco said he has requested the City Transportation Office to deploy more enforcers, especially at night, to check passengers of public utility vehicles and make sure they observe minimum health guidelines.
Meanwhile, Cuenco said the application of TPUJs from Mandaue City is still pending before the EOC.
He said the JTF already endorsed to the EOC the reopening of three TPUJs routes from Mandaue City.
Loreto Geres Jr., head of the Mandaue Transportation Cooperative (MTC), called on Cebu City to allow them to ply their old routes and enter the city without getting apprehended.
He said they are in a difficult situation since they hadn’t operated for almost a year and when they got back on the road, they had to compete with modern jeepney and buses, which have longer routes.
He said they only earn enough for their daily consumption and are unable to save money to pay the installment of their pending penalties, which need to be paid in full in six months.
Of the 100 TPUJ members who used to ply routes to Cebu City, Consolacion and Liloan, only 30 are back on the road, Geres said. (JJL, KFD)