Environment group opposes return of jeepneys on the road
MANILA, Philippines – Environmental group Clean Air Philippines Movement, Inc. (CAPMI), has voiced its opposition to moves calling on the government to allow conventional or traditional jeepneys to resume operations following a three-month lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, CAPMI president Leo Olarte asked the Department of Transportation to strictly monitor motor vehicle emission standards, amid an appeal by the conventional jeepney sector to be allowed to ply their routes.
The group said the DOTR should “not allow any more motor vehicles that are not roadworthy to again go back to our streets.”
“(This is) so that we can maintain and sustain the clean and safe air status in our cities today because we all stayed at home,” he said in a statement on Friday.
The roadworthiness of motor vehicles can fairly be determined through the Land Transportation Office’s motor vehicle inspection system or MVIS, Capmi said.
The environmental group also likewise alleged that allowing PUVs that are not road-worthy to operate again could “worsen our COVID-19 problems” as the air pollution these will emit again will “weaken everybody’s immune system.”
“A strong immune system that will kill the coronavirus is our most effective defense against the SARS –CoV2 virus infection until a vaccine can be discovered and injected to all our more than 100 million population countrywide,” Olarte said.
Instead of allowing traditional jeepneys and PUVs to ply the roads again, the government should initiate a regular food rationing program to all displaced PUV drivers and their families who are currently begging for food on the streets until the can find jobs in the new normal Philippines, Capmi said.
Jeepney drivers and operators expressed their disappointment with the government after Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the administration is still deciding on whether to allow conventional jeepneys back on the road. (Jim Mendoza, Trainee)