Jeepney drivers, operators still not ready for PUV modernization
admin • January 2, 2018 • 9724
Public Utility Jeepney. FILE PHOTO: Rolito Ponte / Photoville International
MANILA, Philippines — The implementation of the jeepney modernization program which will impose gradual repair and changes on the structure and look of the so-called “King of the Road” has taken effect.
But until now some are still unprepared for the reforms pushed by the Duterte administration.
They argue that purchasing new units that will match the government specifications is too expensive.
“The latest models from abroad are too expensive at P1.6 million. We may not be able to afford the monthly dues,” said jeepney operator Rolando Sarafica.
But there are some who understand the proposed reforms of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We cannot do anything if that is what the government wants,” Eduardo Flores, a jeepney driver said.
President Duterte has earlier asserted the continuation of the planned modernization despite the opposition of several transport groups.
“Hindi ako uupo dito, magsalita ang presidente kung hindi masusunod ang batas. January 1, kapag hindi niyo na-modernize iyan umalis na kayo (I will not sit here as president if the law will not be followed. January 1, if you have not modernized [your jeepney units], you better leave),” he said.
In a statement, Atty. Aileen Lizada of the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said, if there are those who will not comply to the modernization program then they will be forced to open the system to new players and operators.
She said they are prioritizing the passengers who wish for safe public transportation. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said it is working on forging partnerships with various digital payment providers for the implementation of cashless or contactless transactions in taxis and Transport Network Service Vehicles (TNVS) as part of the “new normal” amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement, the DOTr said it has tapped payment platforms to help equip taxis and TNVS with scan-to-pay systems to limit direct physical contact between drivers and passengers, thus further curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Taxis and Transport Network Companies (TNC) are allowed to operate in areas placed under general community quarantine at reduced capacity and with strict health and safety protocols.
“Cashless and contactless payment scheme will now be part of the ‘new normal’ in the public transportation system,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The DOTr said one of the first to tie-up with the government for this purpose is GCash.
Under the partnership, GCash will help enable taxi drivers to accept digital payments through the Scan To Pay app where GCash users only need to scan the unique QR code of the taxi unit they are riding in paying for their metered fares.
GCash is also offering the GCash PowerPay+ solution to taxi operators where they can send out salaries, allowances, and commissions through to their employees, or members nationwide, the DOTr said.
“GCash strongly supports the government’s call for the use of mobile payments to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19 through surfaces such as paper money,” GCash Head of Payments Jovit Bajar said.
Authorities are also in talks with other payment platforms PayMaya, Squidpay and Beep, among others, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said in the same statement.
“We had consultations with these providers over the weekend. We are encouraging these digital payment providers to partner with taxi operators and TNCs to lessen the chance of COVID-19 spread,” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said.
“On the part of the TNCs such as Hirna, Grab and Owto, they are already accepting cashless transactions,” he added.
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reminds the public to heed government protocols for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis even after community quarantine has been relaxed.
On May 16, Metro Manila shifted to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from enhanced community quarantine to help revive the Philippines’ crippled economy.
But President Duterte stressed that such relaxation in restrictions doesn’t mean the country is free of COVID-19 and warned that the government might again tighten restrictions if situations get worse.
“Remember this, the loosening of the restrictions does not mean [we’re COVID-free],” he said.
“If the contamination will be as fast as before, and it will continue to infect yung nakalabas na (people who are allowed to go out), then we’ll have to just go back to original program,” he added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied allegations that the government is not ready or has no policy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass testing.
Roque stressed that the government in fact is now preparing to hit the target of 30,000 a day testing capacity by the end of May.
“From the very beginning, we have had a systematic targeted testing at sa tingin po natin ang sinusunod natin ay benchmark recognized internationally specifically by the WHO,” the Palace Spokesperson said in defense against against critics who are questioning the government’s advice of letting private companies shoulder COVID-19 testing for their respective workers who are returning to work.
Roque added that the government is targeting to test around 1.5% to 2% of the more than 100 million Filipinos for COVID-19 infection and clarified on what is referred to as ‘mass testing.’
“Ang tawag po dapat ay expanded targeted testing,” he said.
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