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6,000 jeepneys return to roads

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The government asked traditional public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers and operators to observe health and safety protocols as around 6,000 PUJs set return to Metro Manila roads on July 3.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) earlier approved the return of 6,002 PUJs on 49 routes across Metro Manila, which remained on general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 15.

“Inaasahan natin na susunod ang operator at mga tsuper sa mga safety operations tulad ng pagsuot ng maskara at guantes at ang maximum 50 percent operating capacity (We are expecting operators and drivers to comply with safety operations like wearing of face masks and gloves and a 50-percent maximum operating capacity),” he said in a virtual presser on Thursday.

The LTFRB said operators and drivers should also check the body temperatures of their passengers.

Citing the LTFRB, Roque urged PUJ operators to ensure that their vehicles have been declared roadworthy by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and have active insurance coverage for passengers.

“The LTFRB emphasizes to the traditional PUJ operators that they must provide PUJs that are currently registered road-worthy with the Land Transportation Office and with valid personal passenger insurance policy,” he said.

Roque also assured that there will be no fare adjustments made for PUJs.

He, meanwhile, reminded passengers to also observe minimum health standards such as physical distancing, wearing face masks, and using disinfectants such as alcohol or sanitizer.

Since Metro Manila was placed under GCQ last June 1, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced the resumption of the public transportation system to be enforced in two phases.

Phase one, from June 1 to 21, allowed trains and point-to-point buses, taxis, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), shuttle services to operate on a limited capacity.

The second phase, from June 22 to 30, allowed public utility buses (PUBs), modern public utility vehicles (PUVs), and UV Express vans also at a limited passenger capacity.

On Monday, almost 1,000 UV Express units were allowed to service 47 routes in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

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