BAGUIO CITY June 03 – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong to mandate the city’s 128 barangays to arrange for sufficient public transportation on Sundays, the days declared as market or grocery day for the senior citizens.
In a resolution, city legislators disclosed barangays can remedy the difficult situation of inadequate public transportation on Sundays by arranging with the jeepney operators and drivers to assign units on Sundays to cater specifically for the senior citizens allowed to be out of their homes.
While Sundays had been declared as lockdown in the city where everyone must stay in their residences, the council pointed out senior citizens had been given the privilege to use the day as grocery day and to attend to their basic and essential needs.
However, the council claimed that there is no available public transport on Sundays to service the elderly who have no private vehicle to use to ferry them to their desired destinations, thus, they feel deprived to enjoy the privilege that was granted to them by the city government.
Mayor Magalong ordered the Baguio traffic, Transportation Technical Working Group (BTTTWG) to increase the number of taxi units and jeepneys that will ply the different routes in the city during Sundays to provide adequate transportation for senior citizens who will be out of their homes on Sundays.
From the 22 taxis and 1 jeepney per barangay authorized to service the different routes in the city, the BTTTWG was directed by the city chief executive to increase the number of taxis to 150 units and while there should be a significant number of jeepneys that will operate on said days for the transport needs of senior citizens.
According to him, he does not want to receive complaints from senior citizens on the reported inadequate public transportation during Sundays for them to be able to enjoy the privilege of being able to go out on the said days to cater to their essential and non-essential needs.
The BTTTWG also increased the number of jeepneys that are allowed to ply the established routes in the city from 516 units to some 774 units after including an additional 258 units under the prevailing modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
The operation of jeepneys in the city is from 5 am to 9 pm Mondays to Saturdays while taxis are allowed to operate for 24 hours and those units that are allowed to operate are based on the ending of their license plate numbers.
Magalong asserted that the city government is inclined to gradually allow the operation of taxis and jeepneys during the community quarantine pursuant to the guidelines from the national inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases as the city is working on the implementation of the rationalization of routes through the City Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) that is being finalized by the concerned government agencies and the concerned offices.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by PIO Baguio