Jeepney rollout’s day 1 in Cebu City: 90% compliance recorded
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The first day of the return of the jeepneys in Cebu City recorded a 90 percent compliance as of Friday noon, November 20, 2020.
So far, more than 10 jeepneys have already passed the roadworthiness test, and will then be matched to drivers, who have proven negative to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test.
Councilor James Cuenco, head of the Cebu City Jeepney Task Force, said that the first two hours of the one-stop-shop inspection of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) yielded only 20 percent, with only 2 out 10 jeepneys passing the test.
Yet the rate quickly picked up the pace as more jeepneys from the Guadalupe-Carbon and Lahug-Carbon routes began to arrive in bigger numbers and the number of approved jeepneys also improved.
“A while ago, I was worried because only two jeepneys passed the inspection, but now fortunately we are at 90 percent compliance,” said Cuenco in an interview with reporters.
Some of the problems that the inspectors encountered are the lack of seatbelts and defective exhausts. Yet since the jeepney operators were told ahead of time about the inspection, most of them were able to tune their vehicles for the roadworthiness test.
Cuenco said it was essential that the jeepneys would be roadworthy to prevent accidents on the streets.
The results of the pooled COVID-19 testing also yielded negative results so far. Although most of the results are still pending, some of the results have already been released allowing the drivers to ply the streets already.
“I thought it will take a long time for the results, but the results are being released in trickles. We hope the Department of Health can prioritize the swab tests of the drivers,” said Cuenco.
Virgilio Delasas, 60, a driver for the Guadalupe-Carbon route, told CDN Digital that he was happy to finally get back on the road again.
The pandemic, which forced over 5,000 jeepneys in Cebu City to be inoperational also caused drivers to lose their sources of income.
“Lisod gyod to nga panahon. Halos wala gyoy makaon. (It was a difficult time. We almost could not eat),” said Delasas.
The return of the jeepneys gives hope to Delasas’ family for a brighter and more hopeful Christmas 2020./dbs
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