Only 5 of 30 jeepneys pass roadworthiness test

Cebu City's Task force on day 1 of jeepney rollout: Problematic jeepneys; 3 drivers COVID-19 positive

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | November 20,2020 - 04:14 PM

Cebu City is rolling out the first batch of jeepneys returning to the streets on November 20, 2020. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Jeepney Task Force is facing a dilemma on its first day of inspecting jeepneys for their return to the streets. 

Councilor James Cuenco, Cebu City Jeepney Task Force head, told reporters on Friday afternoon that from the initial 90 percent compliance of jeepneys at noon, the rate decreased drastically. 

As roadworthiness test continues, only 5 of the 30 jeepneys tested as of 3 p.m. were deemed ready to be deployed, as the rest of the jeepneys that were initially cleared in the morning found hitches in later tests. 

Read: Jeepney rollout’s day 1 in Cebu City: 90% compliance recorded

The transportation agencies reported defective headlights, taillights, seatbelts, engine problems, exhaust problems, and lack of compliance to the health protocols. 

This means that there will be less than the expected number of jeepneys targetted for today that will ply the streets. 

Cuenco said that the jeepneys that had undergone the roadworthiness tests were actually 90 percent compliant and would only need the remaining 10 percent to comply. 

“Those, who failed certain items in the roadworthiness test, they can still come back, anyway, to fulfill the lacking requirements,” said Cuenco in a phone interview. 

Read: As jeepneys return, PRO-7 chief reminds passengers to observe minimum health standards

Cuenco admits dissapointment as the jeepney operators have been given enough time to prepare their units for the tests, but perhaps due to the lack of funds brought by the pandemic, the jeepney operators simply did not have enough to cover the cost for tuning up. 

Still, the operators are encouraged to fix their units before coming back next week for another scheduled one-stop-shop. 

Read: 1,922 jeepney operators to get financial assistance today

Aside from the roadworthiness test, at least three of the 400 drivers tested last week also proved positive to the coronavirus disese 2019 (COVID-19). 

Cuenco said that one of them was able to attend a driving seminar at the Land Transportation Office (LTO), prompting the agency to close down the office for disinfection. 

All drivers, who were also with him in those seminar, are now being contact traced. 

The closure of the office is expected to impact the rollout as the drivers will be incapable of driving the jeepneys until results are released. 

Although the first day of the jeepney rollout has been “discouraging”, Cuenco is still hopeful that the compliance rate and the swab results will pick up pace in the next week. 

He said that the jeepney drivers should comply with all requirements should they want to go back in the streets at all. /dbs

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