Drivers ask for alternative livelihood

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo July 04,2018 - 10:29 PM

IITS EFFECTS

A DRIVER’S group is asking government to look for alternative livelihood programs for jeepney drivers, operators and other affected sectors before even thinking about implementing the Integrated Intermodal Transport System (IITS).

Greg Perez, chairman of Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) in Cebu, said the four-component transport system project would displace thousands of jeepney drivers and operators, leaving them without any livelihood.

“Di lang driver ang maapektohan sa ingon ana nga mga proyekto kon di apil na pod ang mga gamay nga mga nagnegosyo sa kadalanan. Apektado ang mga gagmayng vendors nga nanginabuhi sa mga karsada,” said Perez.

(Not only the drivers and operators will be affected but also the small businesses in the streets.)

The IITS is composed of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), point-to-point (P2P) bus system and a monorail project.

In a statement on Monday, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino said the Department of Transportation looks forward to the “partial operability” of the IITS within a year and a half to two years.

However, Dino clarified that DOTr will only implement BRT on roads with at least three lanes.

Perez said they will continue to protest against these projects if the government cannot present a concrete alternative livelihood program for those who are affected.

He said government should study if the projects suit the people and demanded concrete plans that those who would be displaced would be given an alternative livelihood.

For the BRT route alone, Perez said that around 3,000 jeepney drivers will be affected.

He said that if the IITS would cover the whole Metro Cebu, from Carcar City to Danao City, at least 10,000 jeepney drivers will be affected.

Perez said the government should also listen to the side of the transport sector in formulating the “basket of solutions” to the traffic woes of the metropolis.

Perez said the transportation department has not engaged in any dialogue with the transport groups.

Meanwhile, the Cebu City government is urging DOTr to fast-track the implementation of the P17-billion BRT project.

City Administrator Nigel Paul Villarete told reporters on Wednesday that they welcome the decision of the DOTr to include the BRT project in its IITS project.

Villarete said that he will be sending a letter to the DOTr to present their suggestions on how to expedite the implementation of the BRT. /with Morexette Marie B. Erram

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TAGS: alternative, ask, drivers, livelihood

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