A meeting between Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and representatives from the Land Franchising and Regulatory Board as well as the Land Transportation Office will take place today, November 22, to address concerns from operators of traditional and upgraded jeepneys. (Adrian P. Nemes III Photo)
AS THE 15-day moratorium on the apprehension of traditional jeepneys traveling down various thoroughfares in the city of Bacolod without a franchise ends today, November 22, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has announced that it will be extended.
Benitez said that was agreed upon during his meeting with representatives from the Land Transportation Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board over the weekend.
This will pave the way for a transfer plan [from the traditional to modernize jeepneys] and the concerns of the affected transport sector will be taken into account, he said.
Among the demands of the operators of traditional jeepneys is “individual enterprise” by availing of a modern jeepney unit instead of organizing a cooperative or a society.
Apart from that, they were also calling for a much cheaper version of the modern jeepney since the current price of a unit is between P1.3 and P2.4 million.
“We have scheduled another meeting today so that we can iron out the resolution (to extend the moratorium),” Benitez said.
Diego Malacad, general secretary of the United Driver and Operators Center (Undoc), said drivers of traditional utility jeepneys (PUJs) without licenses or franchises ceased operations yesterday, especially in the northern Bacolod area to avoid the penalties.
“We are unsure of LTO’s plans, so to avoid penalties some of our drivers have decided not to run their trips,” he added.
For his part, Albert Villanueva Sentrong Samahan of Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE) praised Benitez for his help in trying to solve their problem.
He said they wanted this issue resolved as soon as possible.
On November 7, 2022, several PUJ drivers, in particular those of traditional jeepneys, decided not to travel their roads following the LTO and LTFRB operation against them, in particular those without a deductible or with incomplete documents, in various neighborhoods of the city.
They resumed their operation the next day after LTO-Western Visayas responded to Benitez’s request for a reprieve on their jeepney operation with no deductibles or incomplete documentation for 15 days. (with MAP reports)