More routes for public transportation will be opened in the Philippines in the next few days, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced today, in a bid to revive the country’s economy.
The LTRFB allowed 1,943 jeepneys to ply on 17 more routes today in Metro Manila, months after many drivers were pushed to the brink of extreme poverty because the government banned their vehicles to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. LTFRB chair Martin Delgra told news program Unang Hirit that vehicles which have been allowed to resume operations were found to be “road-worthy” by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
“This means that we saw on our data that they are of current registration. This means that we have assumed that they have gone through the mandatory road-worthy test of the LTO,” Delgra said in English and Filipino.
“In connection with that, we continue with our monitoring on the ground where we check not just the road-worthiness of a vehicle, we look if they are following public health protocol, especially with jeepneys,” the government official said.
He added that more routes will be opened because of commuter demand.
â€œWe’re going to increase public transport because there is a need to do that, not just in Metro Manila but all across the country…In the following days, we will open more routes and add more public vehicles. Not just for jeepneys but also for buses and UV Express,” Delgra added.
Six jeepney drivers were arrested in Caloocan last month when they protested against the government’s decision to ban their vehicles from Metro Manila. After their release from detention, two of them were found to have been infected with the coronavirus.
This article, Highways and Byways: PH gov’t to open more routes for public transport, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!