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10 more jeepney routes reopened in Metro Manila

MANILA, Philippines — Starting Wednesday, 1,006 authorized jeepneys can return to the streets as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) reopened 10 additional routes in Metro Manila.

This brings the total number of traditional and modern jeepney routes allowed by the LTFRB under the general community quarantine (GCQ) to 227, with more than 16,000 public utility jeepneys (PUJs) back on the road.

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Since Metro Manila was first placed under GCQ in June, the LTFRB had been implementing a “calibrated and gradual opening of public transportation” in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

“Based on the monitoring and coordination with local government units in Metro Manila, there is a continuous need to open additional routes for traditional PUJs to serve passenger demand,” said the LTFRB.

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LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 2020-043 identified the additional routes as follows: T138 Edsa/North Ave.-Quezon City Hall; T139 Marcos Ave.-Quirino Highway via Tandang Sora; T340 Dapitan-Libertad via L. Guinto; T341 Divisoria-Retiro via JA Santos; T342 Divisoria-Sangandaan; T395 Libertad-Washington; T396 Baclaran-Escolta via Jones, L. Guinto; T397 Baclaran-QI via Mabini; T398 Blumentritt-Libertad via Quiapo, Guinto; and T399 Blumentritt-Vito Cruz via L. Guinto.

Those found operating in unauthorized routes will be apprehended, said the LFTRB.

The LTFRB said traditional PUJs that have valid personal passenger insurance policy on these routes could operate without a special permit.

“In lieu of the special permit, the corresponding QR code shall be issued to the operator prior to operation,” the agency said.

PUJ operators must download the QR code from the LTFRB website.

The code must be printed on short bond paper and displayed on the front windshield of the vehicle.

The LTFRB added that “preference shall be given” to traditional PUJ operators who have consolidated or have filed their petition for consolidation for the public utility vehicle modernization program.

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But some operators, said Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations president Efren Luna, were finding it hard to voluntarily surrender their franchise by Dec. 31—the deadline set by the LTFRB to consolidate their fleets.

Luna earlier said that a significant number of jeepney drivers and operators “will continue to starve,” unless the LTFRB would reopen more, if not all, routes under GCQ.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, jeepney ban, Metro Manila jeepney routes
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