Jeepney drivers beg for alms in Caloocan City yesterday after their routes were not among those approved by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board following the public transport shutdown in March.
Michael Varcas
Only 30% of 6,000 jeepneys resume routes – group
Neil Jayson Servallos (The Philippine Star) - July 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Less than 30 percent of 6,000 jeepneys allowed by the government to ply 49 routes in Metro Manila have been able to resume operations after public transport was suspended in March, a transport group said on Monday.

The figure means that fewer than 1,800 jeepney drivers are on the road.

The Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) said many jeepney drivers have remained idle since the government approved the return of public utility jeepneys on July 3.

Majority of jeepney drivers found the guidelines set by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for their return difficult, chief of which was the voluntary surrender of their franchise, ACTO president Efren de Luna said.

“What’s painful is that surrendering our franchise – no one would really do that because if we do, we wouldn’t be operators but rather individuals dreaming of having a livelihood,” De Luna said in an interview aired over Teleradyo on Monday.

Most drivers also failed in their bid to return to Metro Manila roads due to the lack of internet access and smartphones to make use of quick response or QR codes required by the LTFRB for them to resume operations.

The QR, a special barcode to be downloaded from the LTFRB website, would be used to prove that their vehicles were among the 6,000 jeepneys permitted to ferry passengers along the approved traditional jeepney routes in Metro Manila.

The LTFRB also required jeepney drivers to have a personal passenger insurance policy and to have their vehicles subjected to a roadworthiness test.            

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