ByLisbet K. Esmael Manila Times
DRIVERS and operators of “traditional” jeepneys, whose livelihood have been affected severely by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic may finally find themselves back on the street this Friday provided they’re vehicles are road worthy and they have a personal passenger insurance policy.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said 6,002 units would service 49 routes following the issuance of the Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-026, or the Guidelines for the Operations of Traditional Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) During the Period of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila.
The transport regulator stressed operators must provide certification from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) that their PUJs are road worthy and they have a valid personal passenger insurance policy.
The jeepney operators and drivers must observe health protocols, such as checking of body temperatures of their passengers, wearing of masks and gloves at all times, and operating at 50 percent capacity.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) had said that traditional jeepneys wpuld be given the green light “when there is a lack in supply of buses, modern PUVs (public utility vehicles) and UV express, and provided that they comply with road worthiness standards, as well as health, safety, sanitation, and security protocols.”
When Metro Manila was put under GCQ last June 1, the DOTr announced the resumption of the mass transportation system to be enforced in two phases.
The first phase, from June 1 to 21, allowed trains and point-to-point buses, taxis, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), shuttle services to operate on a limited capacity.
Phase two, from June 22 to 30, allowed public utility buses, modern PUVs, and UV Express to travel in GCQ areas while still keeping the limited passenger capacity.
Last Monday, almost 1,000 UV Express units were allowed to service 47 routes in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, three months after their operations were stopped due to the pandemic.
No fare adjustments were made for the PUVs.