Jeepney modernization is good but not in the time of pandemic — MMC chair
MANILA, Philippines — The jeepney modernization program is the “right direction” in improving the country’s mass transport system but pursuing this program during the period of pandemic is “not the right time,” the chairman of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) said Wednesday.
“Alam naman natin na ang modernization matagal nang plano ng gobyerno, ‘yung modernization ng ating mga jeepney. Pero this is not the right time to implement that,” MMC chair and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez told the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
(We know that the jeepney modernization program has long been planned by the government, but this is not the right time to implement that.)
Olivarez noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is not just a blow to the health system of the country but also to our economy, adding that some jeepney drivers have even resorted to begging on the streets during strict lockdowns.
Some jeepney drivers, he said, even had to sleep inside their own jeepneys because they could not afford to pay their housing bills.
“Siguro, ‘yung modernization tama ang direksyon natin, but this is not the right time to implement this na hindi natin pabyahehin ang mga PUJ (public utility jeepneys),” he said.
(I think the modernization program is the right direction but this is not the right time to implement this and not to allow PUJs to ply the roads.)
“Pero ako naniniwala, we have to modernize, pero kailangan po natin, pahingahin natin at bigyan ng breathing room ang mga constituents lalong-lalo na ‘yung mga na-displace, nawalan ng hanap-buhay sa NCR. Itong mga jeepney driver na ito susunod sila sa health protocols kung ano ang guidelines,” he added.
(But I believe we should modernize, but for now we have to let the constituents have a breathing room, especially those who were displaced and lost jobs in NCR. The jeepney drivers will follow health protocols.)
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