CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – A regional board regulating public transportation urges jeepney drivers to follow protocols on social distancing, while drivers are raring to go back to the road to earn for their family.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 10 issued a memo on May 1, telling drivers and operators to observe physical distancing such as putting up barriers on PUJ seats.
The LTFRB circular states that “public transportation shall be operating in a limited capacity. Social distancing and limited passenger capacity, as well as required sanitary measures, shall be strictly observed.”
“Physical distancing must at all times be observed inside the PUVs. Thus, passenger load must not exceed 50% or half of the vehicle’s capacity (excluding driver and conductor); passengers should be seated one seat apart; no standing passengers shall be allowed,” the order said.
Since the implementation of this circular, the LTFRB reported they had issued 28 summons to violators of this regulation, while netizens have raised complaints to their office regarding violations.
Drivers and operators are fined P 5,000 for their first offense.
The public transport group, National Confederation of Transport Union in Northern Mindanao, has said they have been complying with the LTFRB order.
“We followed the LTFRB directive. We even disinfect our PUJs,” said, Joel Gabatan, regional coordinator of the union.
Gabatan said operators and drivers would like to recoup their loss of income following near three months of community quarantine being declared in the city.
“Today, drivers’ take-home pay is now P200 to P300. But this crisis has also taught our drivers to be thrifty and spend their money wisely,” Gubatan said.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, drivers were earning an average of P700 a day.
NCTU has six member-cooperatives serving 14 routes in Cagayan de Oro. (davaotoday.com)