BAGUIO CITY – Drivers of the 357 jeepney units which were issued special transport permit at the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will receive PHP300 per day subsidy for servicing the public while charging low fares.
The public utility jeepneys (PUJs) render service twice a week to village residents who were given only two days to go to the market at the central business district, thereby doubling the aid to PHP600 per week.
The city’s management committee composed of department heads led by mayor Benjamin Magalong approved the subsidy to encourage the drivers to continue providing transportation to the public during their market days schedule.
City budget officer, lawyer Leticia Clemente proposed the provision of subsidy, which takes effect on Monday, to PUJ drivers to enable them recoup the amount lost in every trip due to halved capacity in compliance with social distancing and also not to add another burden to passengers who earlier were required to pay twice the regular fare.
It will be recalled the city government came up with a program after the Land Transportation Office apprehended drivers collecting PHP20 for violating the provision on overcharging.
With the financial assistance, Magalong said drivers will revert back to collecting the minimum fare rate of PHP9 as prescribed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The association will have to get a barangay certification stating they were utilized to transport market goers, which will be the basis in the transfer of funds from the city to the association and subsequently to PUJ drivers.
In approving the subsidy amid the ECQ which barred public utility vehicles (PUVs) on the road, the officials laid down as a rule social distancing and wearing of masks.
Physical distancing requires the maintenance of at least one-meter distance from one person to another as defined by the World Health Organization.
It is now the new normal in all public places and transactions, including the transportation sector, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019. (ia/PNA)