MORE than six months since the operation of traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) was suspended in Cebu City, an ex-officio member of the City Council is calling for their return to the city’s streets.
Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president Jessica Resch, in a privilege speech during the regular session on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, said PUJ drivers are not the only ones suffering from the loss of their livelihood. She said commuters who relied on TPUJs before the start of the novel coronavirus disease pandemic have also been affected.
City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco said the task force created to study the return of TPUJs is working on the matter. It will soon submit its recommendation to Mayor Edgardo Labella.
In a previous report, Cuenco assured that TPUJs would be allowed to operate again.
Resch said that although other public utility vehicles (PUVs) like buses and taxes have resumed operations, these are not enough to serve the riding the public.
“While public transportation did resume, it is scarce, and the special permits and the go-signal to resume operations were only granted to point-to-point buses,” Resch said.
“Jeepneys, the main mode of transportation for many Cebuanos, are nowhere to be found,” she said.
Meanwhile, the council is pushing for the creation of a functional Mass Transportation Division that will be under the Cebu City Transportation Office. It will be at the forefront in facilitating and implementing the contracting of public utility vehicles as government service vehicles.
The division will also be tasked to monitor contracted PUVs to make sure drivers strictly adhere to health guidelines.
The council also called for an executive session with PUV drivers and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to discuss the master plan for Cebu City’s mass public transportation under the new normal. (JJL)