ASIDE from public utility buses (PUBs), only modernized public utility jeepneys (PUJs) will be allowed to ply their usual routes in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Eduardo Montealto Jr., Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Central Visayas (LTFRB 7) director, reiterated this in a memorandum circular he issued for all public utility vehicle (PUV) operators in the region, Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
These Omnibus Franchising Guidelines-compliant (modernized) PUJs will be allowed to operate in their usual routes as specified in the Certificate of Public Convenience, granting they secure a special permit.
Montealto said it is impossible to follow the prescribed health protocol in the old models of the PUJs (with some small in size) where passengers are facing each other.
He said modern PUJs have three main features. For the safety of the passengers, its entrance door should be on the right side. Its height should be enough for a passenger to stand. The unit must also be efficient for persons with disabilities, pregnant women and the elderly to use.
He said as of now, there are 210 modern PUJ units in Cebu operated by the United Drivers-Operators Transport Cooperative, Persano Corp. and the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
Moreover, all other PUVs that have the same routes as PUBs, minibuses, UV express and modern PUJs are not allowed to serve as shuttle service starting Thursday, July 16, except for those transporting overseas Filipino workers and locally stranded individuals.
Tourist transport services will be the ones to cater as shuttle service.
He also said PUBs and minibuses should apply for a special permit to routes identified by the LTFRB Regional Franchising and Regulatory Office.
Meanwhile, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia asked government banks to speed up the implementation of the loan program to purchase the modernized jeepneys.
This is in pursuant to the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, a flagship program of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a meeting with representatives of the Land Bank of the Philippines and of the Development Bank of the Philippines on July 9, Garcia expressed her desire to have this program implemented soon.
“We will do this fast because they have no source of income,” she said, noting the thousands of jeepney drivers and operators who lost their main livelihood.
Financial institution representatives committed to prioritize the program.
Jeepney drivers and operators were also advised to form either cooperatives or corporations for easier access to financial institutions.
Montealto said 80 percent of jeepney operators and drivers have consolidated and the remaining 20 percent have expressed their willingness to form a cooperative.
The governor also requested to decrease the interest rate per annum of both government banks from seven to five percent, if possible.
With seven percent interest, she said the operator will have to pay P566 daily for each modern PUJ. (WBS with PR)