MMDA lifts number coding for PUVs
MANILA, Philippines — Authorities have mapped out plans to ensure that the opening of public schools and return to in-person classes on Monday will go smoothly.
In a move to help students get to their classes, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has agreed to suspend number coding for public transportation for the school year. It reminded drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs), however, that they would still be apprehended for other traffic violations.
The Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) earlier asked the MMDA to suspend the number coding and no-contact apprehension program (NCAP) to allow more PUVs to ply their routes and accommodate students returning to in-person classes.
The MMDA said it was still studying the agencies’ request regarding NCAP.
The LTFRB also reminded PUV drivers to follow the guidelines stated under their franchise license or provisional authority to avoid penalties, including the cancellation of their certificates of public convenience.
On Aug. 18, the board issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No 2022-067 which opened 33 new bus routes, as well as MC No. 2022-068 which opened 68 jeeps and 32 UV Express routes, in preparation for the school opening.
All PUVs plying these routes have been given special permits to operate in the meantime.
To maintain peace and order, the Philippine National Police will deploy “a considerable number” of its men, according to Police Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba, chief of the PNP public information office.
Alba said police personnel would be stationed near schools and other academic institutions nationwide.
“We have deployment in major terminals and other points of convergence to ensure peace and order during the first day of the classes,” he said in a statement.
The PNP earlier said it would deploy around 23,000 policemen who would also enforce minimum public health standards for the opening of classes.
Alba said they would be in close coordination with the Department of Education to address the safety and security concerns of students, teachers, and other school workers.
The MMDA, on the other hand, has assigned 2,238 traffic personnel on major Metro thoroughfares. Of the number, 581 will be dispatched to 146 schools.
Students in Quezon City and Manila, meanwhile, can avail themselves of free rides being offered by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Up to three PCG buses coming from Quezon City Hall will be deployed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. They will go to the University Belt through España Boulevard, Manila, and pass through Rizal Park before returning to Quezon City.
“It’s just our way to help. Through this initiative, we can help students to minimize their fare expenses on the first day of school,” said PCG commandant Adm. Artemio Abu.
—WITH A REPORT FROM FRANCES MANGOSING
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