MANILA - Jeepney drivers should get fixed salaries, while operators should be "encouraged" to organize themselves into cooperatives, a group of management professionals said on Thursday.
The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said these measures and several other suggestions can help improve public transportation in Metro Manila.
The group also maintained that jeepneys are necessary to meet Metro Manila's transport demands and they should be allowed to operate as "long as they follow health protocols."
MAP said scrapping the boundary system and giving fixed salaries to jeepney drivers will "eliminate disorderly competition for passengers and restore some order in our streets."
"Such a system will also facilitate registration of drivers with government agencies (SSS, PhilHealth, PagIBIG, BIR) and will facilitate access to benefits and tax collection, forcing facets of the underground economy to surface," MAP said.
The group added that jeepney operators, just like bus operators, should be encouraged – if not required – to organize themselves into consortia, or cooperatives.
"Jeepney routes could then be allocated to each consortium, one consortium per route," MAP said.
MAP also recommended that jeepney terminals be established at the beginning of the route and also at the end of the route.
The terminals should be manned by LGU and barangay personnel to enforce health protocols, and ensure that jeepneys follow a dispatch schedule.
Jeepneys should be allowed only 2 minutes to load and unload in a jeepney stop.
MAP said jeepney drivers that unload or pick up passengers in non-designated jeepney stops should have their licenses confiscated and suspended for three months.
Operators of jeepneys that figure in violations meanwhile should be fined P25,000 and not allowed to operate until the fine is paid.
Many jeepney drivers have been reduced to begging on the streets as they remain restricted from plying their routes due to strict quarantine measures.
Lawmakers have called for a pause on the phaseout of old but still roadworthy jeepneys, with the government unable to give cash aid to all those who could lose their livelihood because of the pandemic.
A former general manager of the Metro Manila Development Authority has proposed helping distressed jeepney drivers by allowing traditional jeepneys to run twice a week, or employing them for delivery services.