Sun Star Bacolod
Benitez to discuss local drivers’ proposal with LTO, LTFRB today
BACOLOD City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez will hold a meeting with the officials of Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) today, November 19, to discuss the proposal of the drivers of traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJS) amid woes on the implementation of the jeepney modernization program.
Benitez said yesterday that he held a meeting with the drivers of the traditional PUJS on Thursday, November 17, where they discussed all their suggestions and proposals in relation to the implementation of the modernization program.
The mayor said he advised the drivers to SUBBACOLOD mit their letter yesterday afternoon which he will discuss with the LTO and LTFRB officials.
He added the drivers agreed to support the modernization program, but they have some issues need to be clarified with the agencies.
On November 7, 2022, several PUJ drivers, particularly those of traditional jeepneys, decided not to ply their routes following the operation of the LTO and LTFRB against them, especially those without franchises or with incomplete documents, in various areas in the city.
They resumed their operation on November 18 after the Lto-western Visayas heeded to the request of Benitez for a reprieve on their operation against jeepneys without franchises or incomplete documents for 15 days.
Benitez said the 15 days will end on Tuesday, November 22, and they will wait for the decision of the LTO and LTFRB after their meeting.
“We will discuss the salient features of their proposals with the LTO and LTFRB and if it is acceptable by all then, we will move to a transition phase by Monday,” he said.
He added the drivers’ proposals include to reduce the costs of units among others.
Junjun Asis, secretary-general of Sentrong Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE), earlier said they also expect that the national government will listen to their side so they can support their families.
“We are thankful to the city officials for assisting us, we are hopeful that the local government will support our concern so that we can sustain the needs of our family,” he said.
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran earlier said about 2,000 drivers of PUJS in Bacolod City will be displaced when the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) if the national government pushes through.
He said they found out during their meeting with the modernized jeepney cooperatives at the Bacolod City Government Center on November 8, that only 1,099 units of modernized jeep are approved by the LTFRB to ply at 24 routes in the city.
Currently, Bacolod has a total of 173 modernized jeepneys and 553 traditional jeepneys with franchises operating in various areas in the city.
The rest are “colorum” or illegal, he added.*