Jun 9, 2020

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is planning on repurposing jeepneys that have been barred from operating to be used for delivery services instead. 

General community quarantine (GCQ), which is implemented in Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Albay, Western Visayas, Cebu City, Mandaue City, and Davao City, still bars jeepneys from plying the roads. According to the DOTr, only public utility buses (PUBs), modern public utility vehicles (PUVs), and UV Express are allowed to operate during GCQ.

“Kanina po, kasama ko rin si (DOTr) Secretary Tugade, meron din silang planong gawing delivery service ‘yung ating mga jeepneys kasi nga hindi pupuwedeng sakyan kasi hindi puwede ang social distancing,” said Roque in an online press briefing.

Last June 3, Roque said that the deployment of “traditional” jeepneys during GCQ will not be allowed. He stated that physical distancing is almost impossible to do in these vehicles. Modernized jeepneys with sitting arrangements much like buses, however, may possibly be deployed.

“’Yung jeepney modernization ay siguro po pabibilisan para ’yung mga mawawalan ng trabaho sa traditional jeepneys ay pupuwedeng mag-shift to ’yung mga modern jeepneys,” said Roque. 

Drivers of these “traditional” jeepneys, specifically ones from Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) held a protest last May 29 to protest the government’s decisions. Piston said that the barring of jeepney operations would only prolong the economic crisis of numbers of PUV drivers and operators. On June 2, six drivers holding a protest were arrested. Only four were released yesterday.

 

 

Header photo courtesy of Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

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TAGS: covid-19 jeepneys Metro Manila modernization piston quarantine