By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The present moratorium on the apprehension of traditional public utility jeepneys (PUJs) in Bacolod City has been extended for an “indefinite period,” according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
In a radio interview, Atty. Salvador Altura, Jr., LTFRB in Western Visayas spokesperson, said the agreement was made following a meeting with LTO Assistant Regional Director Atty. Gaudioso Geduspan II and city officials on Tuesday, November 22.
According to Altura, they came up with an agreed course of action while they were still drafting and finalizing the transition period for the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) in the city.
The LPTRP is expected to be implemented sometime next month.
Meanwhile, Geduspan said an agreement was made wherein all traditional PUJs will have to be registered.
All PUJs without franchise permits will be allowed to operate through an interim service until March 2023, he added.
Under the agreement, all non-registered vehicles will be subjected to sanctions from law enforcement units.
As of yesterday, traditional PUJs in the city are still operating as usual, despite threats that they will stop their operations unless there are “concrete assurances” that they will not be apprehended.
After the granted 15-day moratorium from November 9 to 23, most of the traditional PUJ operators have softened their stance on the government’s transport modernization program, wherein they will agree to upgrade to the modern version of the PUJ, but under the condition that they can operate as sole proprietors instead of joining a cooperative or a corporation.
The group has also been demanding a cheaper version of the modernized PUJs./DGB, WDJ