CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has warned jeepney drivers, who will start plying the streets tomorrow, to follow the health protocols and rules or else they will be suspended.
The mayor said that the two week evaluation for the operation of jeepneys would be strict because this would be the crucial time to determine if their return would result in the rise of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Labella urged the jeepney drivers to leave their old ways before the pandemic and be better public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers under the new normal.
“There will be marshalls who will be watching on the streets to check if the jeepneys are following the protocols. I advise the jeepney drivers to keep in mind that the virus is still with us,” said Labella.
The jeepney operators should be mindful of their vehicles and drivers from the garage to the streets because they will also be held liable for the violations their jeepney franchise will incur.
Should the jeepney driver still violate traffic rules and health protocols, he will immediately be suspended. Moreover, if the COVID-19 cases increase significantly due to the jeepney operations, the Balik Pasada Program will be suspended entirely.
For this reason, Labella appeals to the jeepney operators to be more vigilant so that they can enjoy operating under the modified general community quarantine.
At least 170 jeepney units will undergo road-worthiness test tomorrow in the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) one-stop shop at the Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC).
Once the jeepneys pass the roadworthy tests, then they can immediately go out to ply their selected routes. The first route to roll out would be the Guadalupe-Carbon route.
The Cebu City Task Force is expecting that by next week, most of the 18 routes will already have jeepneys plying along them so the transportation demand of the workers will be addressed. /dbs