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Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte on Monday asked the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to address the special permit issue for public utility jeepneys to ensure transport for public and private employees allowed to work under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

Heavy traffic hit city streets of private vehicles but less public utility jeepneys are serving resulting in stranded commuters on the first Monday of the GCQ wherein lockdown measures have been relaxed by the city government.

Mayor Sara said the lack of public transport was due mainly to the failure of operators to secure a special permit required by the LTFRB.

The special permit are issued to operators if they have implemented physical distancing protocol such as providing barriers inside jeepneys to protect the passengers from possible coronavirus infection.

Mayor Sara pointed to lack of foresight by the LTFRB to plan before the city government shifted from the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to GCQ on Saturday, May 16, 2020, when jeepneys were allowed to operate with certain quarantine protocols.

The mayor sees unnecessary for the LTFRB to require a special permit for PUJs as this will only add layer to the operators’ work thus, delaying operation.

“Dapat man gud, LTFRB, wala na mo nagrequire og special permit sa mga jeep, because dili na kinahanglan sa mga jeepney drivers (The LTRFB should have not required a special permit because jeepney drivers don’t need that),” she said.

Mayor Sara added that instead of requiring special permit, LTFRB can deploy their officers on the roads to conduct inspection and stop those who are violating.

“Kung inyoha na lang na gipagawas ang mga tao (LTFRB personnels), gibutang ninyo sa dalan, everytime nga dunay jeep nga naga violate sa requirements ninyo, tanggalon ninyo sa dalan, mas paspas na siya. Kontra sa paadtuon ninyo tanan dinha sa inyuha (If you just deploy your officials on the roads and every time there are violators you can apprehend them. It would be faster, instead of requiring them to come to your office),” Mayor Sara stressed.

She said PUJs can be inspected while operating since these all pass through checkpoints or Quarantine Control Points (QCP).

“Muagi man gyud na sila sa atoang Quarantine Control Points (QCP), puwede na sila didto harangon, panaugon og pahawaon (They will surely pass through Quarantine Control Points. They can be blocked and stopped from operating),” she said.

The mayor added that inspections and issuing of special permit should have been done during the ECQ, not during GCQ were public transportations are needed.

“(To LTFRB) Unsa ta kadugay nag ECQ, one (1) month and 15 days di’ba? Dapat katong sa sugod pa lang sa ECQ, naa man diay mo’y requirement nga special permit, inyuha na na gipanghatag that time… Nag inspect na mo [dapat] during ECQ. Ang mga wala nag-comply, inyuha na gipa-comply, gitagaan na niyo og special permit (How long we have been under ECQ, one month and 15 days, right? You should have given your requirements early on. You should have inspected during ECQ. You should have also required those who did not comply, to comply to be given special permit),” she stressed.

Meanwhile, the city government will continue organizing the “Libreng Sakay” to pick up Dabawenyos daily at 6:30 a.m and 7:00 p.m in strategic areas in the city. CIO