Let Talisay PUJs enter Cebu City
Gullas, in his letter, said that if approved, the city government of Talisay, in coordination with the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, shall organize a one-stop-shop for inspection of the traditional jeepneys plying Talisay-Cebu City route.
STAR/Edd Gumban, file
Let Talisay PUJs enter Cebu City
Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - November 6, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. has asked Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella to allow traditional jeepneys to enter Cebu City.

Jonathan Tumulak, Talisay City’s traffic czar, personally brought the letter to the Cebu City Hall yesterday morning.

The request came after Labella issued an executive order allowing some 1,355 traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) to resume operation.

Gullas, in his letter, said that if approved, the city government of Talisay, in coordination with the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, shall organize a one-stop-shop for inspection of the traditional jeepneys plying Talisay-Cebu City route.

He said that jeepney units that can pass the inspection shall be given permits.

“Rest assured that we will follow the health protocols set forth by the IATF before we allow the jeepneys to operate,” Gullas said.

He added that the City Health Office shall conduct COVID-19 tests on all the drivers for everyone’s safety.

Tumulak, during the weekly Kapisan sa Sugbo held at the Cebu City Hall yesterday, said the drivers themselves had asked Gullas to make the request to Labella.

He said that like drivers in Cebu City, drivers in Talisay City also suffer during this pandemic.

During the same media forum, Cebu City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco, who heads the committee on transportation, said that they are willing to accommodate Gullas’ request but asked for at least two weeks to observe the operation of the city’s jeepneys.

Cuenco pointed out that the first batch of 1,355 PUJs are still subject for evaluation as to whether the number will be increased or decreased.

Pre-Registration

Yesterday, some 1,200 PUJ drivers pre-registered for the application to resume their operations in Cebu City.

This fell short of the 1,355, the number of drivers that will be allowed by the city to ply again subject to their compliance with requirements.

Barangay Captain Clifford Jude Ninal, a board member of the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-Purpose Cooperative, said he was not surprised with the turnout because there are many drivers of traditional PUJs who are in their respective hometowns at the moment and have no access to the internet.

Aside from that, another factor seen is the long list of requirements that need to be fulfilled.

For drivers who have pre-registered, they will be tested for COVID-19 this Monday and are expected to attend the seminar at the Cebu City Transportation Office on a later date.

After the drivers’ pre-registration, the next step will be the pre-registration of the TPUJs by their operators, which already started yesterday

There were 18 routes approved by Labella and the pre-registration will run until November 20.The complete schedules and updates are posted on the Jeepney Task Force’s Facebook page.

Cuenco said the city allowed traditional PUJs to ply following the pronouncement of LTFRB for extension of the full implementation of the PUJ modernization program to December 31, 2021.

Cuenco said he is happy with the development as more Cebuano cooperatives will be able to apply for the modernization program and traditional jeepney drivers can still work again in the meantime. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, JMD

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