TRADITIONAL public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) from the cities of Mandaue and Talisay that will enter Cebu City streets still have to get a travel line from the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO).
Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, chairman of the Jeepney Task Force (JTF), said there is an existing City Ordinance No. 2000 which mandates that all jeepneys entering Cebu City have to secure a travel line from the CCTO.
CCTO information officer Paul Gotiong said under the ordinance, the drivers or operators pay P225 to get a travel line.
Gotiong said based on the executive order issued by Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella on March 12, 2021, the mayor did not indicate that TPUJs from Mandaue City and Talisay City are exempted from getting the travel line.
For the TPUJs with routes within Cebu City, their owners were required to get a travel line before they were allowed to operate again.
Gotiong said as of March 15, three days since Labella issued the executive order allowing inter-city TPUJs to enter the city, the CCTO has not received any application from the drivers or operators from TPUJs from the cities of Mandaue and Talisay.
Interviewed on Monday, March 15, Cuenco said he is not sure if there are units from Mandaue City that have entered the city.
Cuenco heard that some drivers do not want to operate their units again because of low income caused by the limited number of passengers, but he also heard that having Cebu City off-limits to TPUJs from other cities caused the low earnings of the drivers.
He said when Labella issued the executive order, transport groups in Mandaue welcomed the move.
“Now that Cebu City is open to them, I expect more operators or drivers to join the program,” said Cuenco.
Cuenco, though, is not expecting it to solve the concern on growing demands for public transportation, considering there might only be about 30 TPUJs from Mandaue City and 15 from Talisay City that would enter Cebu City.
But he said this can still help address the demand for public transportation for the three local government units.
He said the reopening of Cebu City’s border would help the drivers revive their livelihood.
Cuenco reminded the TPUJ drivers, especially those plying the streets of Cebu, to follow the health protocol in their respective units.
Cuenco said there were TPUJs apprehended for overcrowding or not following the allowed capacity in their units.
He said apprehended drivers would face confiscation of their “Balik Pasada” ID or worse, impounding of their vehicles.
He urged the public to report erring TPUJ drivers through the Cebu City JTF’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the Mandaue Transport Cooperative (MTC) has agreed to comply with the travel line requirement of the CCTO.
MTC head Loreto Geres said since Friday, March 12, more than 20 TPUJ drivers under its coop have started to travel from Mandaue City to Cebu City and vice versa.
Four days since they were allowed to enter Cebu City, Geres said their drivers have not been apprehended by CCTO enforcers.
With the statement of Cuenco, Geres said they will comply with the travel line requirement.
He also advised its members to report to him immediately if they were apprehended on March 15 for non-compliance with the travel line requirement. (JJL, KFD)