'Roadworthy' jeepneys can resume operations this week: LTFRB

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 29 2020 12:52 PM | Updated as of Jun 29 2020 05:27 PM

A newer jeepney model travels with older models in a route in Litex in Quezon City on October 3, 2019. Some jeepney drivers and operators contest the government's PUV modernization program that seeks to remove jeepneys aged 15 years and older from roads to give way to modern models that cost more than P1 million each. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) -- "Roadworthy" traditional jeepneys can ferry commuters again this week, the head of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Monday.

The regulating body will issue a memorandum circular on the resumption of operations of "roadworthy" jeepneys either on Tuesday or Wednesday, LTFRB Chair Martin Delgra said.

"Papayagan na po ang mga traditional jeepney so long as they are roadworthy. Sila po ay mapapayagan na ngayong linggo," Delgra said in a virtual press briefing.

(Traditional jeepneys deemed roadworthy can resume operations this week.)

"We will emphasize again na 'yung pagbabalik ng mga traditional jeepney ay sila ay dapat roadworthy," he added.

(The return of traditional jeepneys should be limited to the roadworthy ones only.)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque in a Palace briefing added that traditional jeepneys are already allowed to ply roads in Bulacan, Pampanga, Cagayan De Oro, South Cotabato, Caraga region and other provinces.

Traditional jeepneys, however, have yet to resume operations in urban centers Metro Manila, and the Southern Tagalog Region.

The government has slowly allowed the resumption of public transportation services in phases after Metro Manila and other urban hubs transitioned to a more relaxed general community quarantine.

The government initially allowed limited operations of trains, buses, taxis, ride-sharing services, and modern jeepneys. On Monday, UV Express units also resumed operations with 980 units allowed to ply roads.

Traditional jeepneys however are the last option in terms of public transport based on the government's system due to difficulties in implementing minimum health standards such as physical distancing.

Delgra also assured the public that there will be no fare hikes for public transportation as he assured vehicle drivers and operators that the government is finding ways to help them augment their income.

"We will not increase any fare of whatever modes [of transportation]," he said.