City’s PUJ operators might bring back plastic barriers to avoid paying stiff fines

PHOTO CAPTION: Passenger utility jeepneys plying Iloilo City routes may soon reinstall plastic barriers following the decision of ICLAJODA to bring them back to ensure strict compliance with the government-mandated 70% maximum seating capacity inside passenger jeepneys and avoid stiff fines./iNews (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of PNA)

ILOILO CITY–The plastic barriers used to ensure physical distancing among passengers of public utility jeepneys (PUJs, whose implementation was dropped by the national government itself a couple of weeks ago, could be reinstalled by jeepney operators in Iloilo City just so drivers don’t breach the 70% passenger capacity limit and avoid getting fined.

According to Iloilo City Loop Alliance of Jeepney Owners and Drivers Association (ICLAJODA) president Raymundo Parcon, if it were up to the drivers to implement the maximum 70% limit on passengers, it would be almost impossible to ensure strict compliance as their daily income depends on the number of passengers they can accommodate.

“Now, if we put the plastic barriers back, we will be assured that passengers will be comfortably seated in our jeepneys while still following the passenger guidelines at all times,” Parcon quipped.

This is one way, according to the ICLAJODA head, for the operators not to get fined if their drivers are caught in violation of the seating capacity rule.

“Mabudlay kun marker lang ang ibutang. Lain gid ya kon barrier [Markers are just not enough; barriers are better],” Parcon added.

He said there are operators who proposed bringing back the plastic barriers that were earlier removed so as not to incur additional costs while there are those who suggested using rope.

He said the penalties for those violating the 70% maximum passenger capacity limit are relatively stiff, so they took it upon themselves to ensure compliance to the regulations set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

“Suno sa LTO, first offense is P6,000 kay ang P5,000 iya sang operator (kag) ang P1,000 iya sang driver. Sa subong, mahalong lang kami. Amo na ginpakamaayo sang mga operators nga ibalik na lang ang barriers nila [According to the LTO, the first offense is P6,000, of which P5,000 will be shouldered by the operator and P1,000 by the driver. We will just play it safe for now…and bring back the barriers],” Parcon stated. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNews)

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