Jeepney drivers with penalties pre-pandemic can drive buses — Cuenco

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | December 11,2020 - 02:06 PM

A foreign passenger walks behind parked buses at the Cebu South Bus Terminal located in N. Bacalso Avenue, Cebu City.

The Cebu City government has agreed to allow drivers, who have pending traffic penalties incurred before the pandemic, to defer payment of the traffic fines. These rule covers only those former jeepney drivers, who hare hired as bus drivers. | CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The jeepney drivers, who have been hired to drive buses by the Vallacar Transit (Ceres) yet have incurred penalties pre-pandemic, will be allowed to drive the buses.

Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco said that they had conducted a dialogue with Vallacar Transit after the heated exchange of statements to the media between both camps where the bus liner threatened to pull out their units from Cebu City and the city government threatened to name them as persona non-grata.

The councilor said that the bus liner apologized for the hasty comments and said they only wanted the city government to temporarily defer the payment of the penalties so they could be allowed to drive the buses.

“Ang ila lang gusto kay dili usa pabayron tong mga drivers nga naay penalty pag prepandemic aron ma-issuehan silag CCTO (Cebu City Transportation Office) identification cards (ID). Naghire man gud silag mga jeepney drivers sa una nga wala pa tawn kabalik og pasada,” said Cuenco in a phone conference on December 11, 2020.

(What they wanted was for the drivers to be allowed not to pay yet their prepandemic penalties so that they can be issued by the CCTO (Cebu City Transportation Office) identification cards (ID). This is because the bus company has former jeepney drivers, who had not yet returned to driving passenger jeepneys since the pandemic started.)

It can be remembered that this was the request of Mayor Edgardo Labella to the bus liners to hire the jeepney drivers who might not be able to return to the streets.

Cuenco filed a resolution to the City Council on December 8, 2020, asking for a deferment of the payment of these penalties for the duration that the buses will be plying Cebu City under the modified general community quarantine.

Initially, Cuenco was hoping for a total waiving of the penalties to help the struggling drivers, but the City Council has decided to defer the payments only as waiving them totally may set a bad precedence for professional drivers operating public transportation.

Cuenco said that those penalties before the pandemic would now be issued the CCTO identification cards, and they could drive the buses for which they had been hired temporarily.

“Anyway, the buses will also return to their provincial routes when the jeepneys will return to the streets,” said Cuenco.

Read: Labella: City will help 3.5K jeepney drivers find jobs

At least 60 drivers will benefit from this deferment of the penalties. They will be handling the routes of the Ceres buses within the city.

Mayor Labella said in previous statements that he preferred the city’s own jeepney drivers to drive the buses because they are more familiar with the roads here. /dbs

Read: Labella to LTFRB, bus operators: Let jeepney drivers from city drive buses

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TAGS: COVID-19, jeepney, jeepney drivers

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