Sun Star Bacolod

Albee meets with LTFRB, LTO anew on traditiona­l jeepney drivers’ woes


BACOLOD City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez said he met again with officials from the Land Transporta­tion Franchisin­g and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Land Transporta­tion Office (LTO) regarding the requests being asked by y operators of traditiona­l jeepneys following the implementa­tion of the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) modernizat­ion program.

Benitez said Friday, November 18, that among the operators’ requests is “sole proprietor­ship” in availing a modern jeepney unit instead of organizing a cooperativ­e or corporatio­n.

The operators are also demanding a much cheaper version of the modern jeepney.

At present, the price of a modernized jeepney runs between P1.3 to P2.4 million depending on the type of unit and features it has, although all modernized jeepneys are equipped with more advanced technology and safety features such as curb-side passenger entrance and exit, closed-circuit television systems, and even Global Positionin­g System (GPS).

Benitez said he wants a transition period to take place first before authoritie­s can start apprehendi­ng traditiona­l PUV operators.

For his part, Sentrong Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator sa Negros Occidental (SSTONE) chairman Albert Villanueva thanked Benitez for acting on their requests.

Villanueva pointed out that they are not against the PUV modernizat­ion program, but rather they are only asking for much lower standards, as the present standards are unfriendly to small PUV operators.

He said the present program is following RA 8749, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Air Act, which sets the standards that are too high.

The transport group leader is also pushing to rehabilita­te old jeepneys instead for them to become compliant to RA 8749 standards.

He said they will try their best to comply with the LTFRB’S modernizat­ion standards, although it would be much better if it would still be on the individual level, instead of consolidat­ing in a cooperativ­e or corporatio­n.

Earlier this month, hundreds of traditiona­l jeepney operators and drivers camped out at the Bacolod City Government Center asking for a dialogue with the city officials.

The camp out was held after the LTO began apprehendi­ng traditiona­l jeepney units which were operating without or with incomplete documents and franchise permits.

The city government would later agree to a 15day moratorium wherein the LTO will temporaril­y stop their apprehensi­ons to give way to a proper dialogue between all sides.*

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