Jeepneys may soon be allowed for public transport: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2020 01:56 PM

Drivers wait by their jeeps after receiving food packs from the Valenzuela City government on June 10, 2020 amid the general community quarantine. Jeepney driver and operators continue to call on the government to allow them to operate amid the quarantine, citing mounting and looming expenses such as the incoming school year for students and the pending jeepney modernization program, yet receiving little to no income or financial aid amid the quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA-- Traditional jeepneys may soon be allowed for public transport use, Malacañang said Thursday as the government works on the gradual relaxation of transportation restrictions.

Jeepneys that will be deemed as "roadworthy" may soon be allowed to ply roads subject to health standards, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"Pinag-aaralan po pero may possibility po," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(It is still being studied but there is a possibility.)

"Maaaring payagan ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ang traditional jeepneys provided they are roadworthy," he added.

(The LTFRB may allow traditional jeepneys to ply roads provided that they are roadworthy)

Even with the easing of lockdowns this month, the government has prohibited the use of jeepneys for public transport due to difficulties in observing minimum health standards such as physical distancing.

The current general community quarantine and modified GCQ allow limited train, bus, taxi, and ride-share services.

The Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines has appealed to the government to reconsider the ban on jeepneys, saying some 90 percent of drivers are "starving and dying" due to loss of income.

The Department of Transportation earlier this month said routes for the jeepneys are being studied.

"Papayagan naman. Kaya lang inaayos pa natin ano. For example, 'yung mga ruta na pwede takbuhan 'tas ilang jeep 'yung tatakbo sa ruta na 'yon," said Alberto Suansing, DOTR road sector consultant.

(Jeepneys will be allowed but we are still fixing it. For example, we're still identifying the routes as well as the number of jeepneys that will be allowed there)