BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Operators of traditional jeepneys here have agreed to become part of the government transport modernization program but on several conditions.
One of the conditions that the 21 traditional jeepney operators presented through a proposal to Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez is to be allowed to operate modern jeepneys as sole proprietors or owners, without having to join a cooperative or a corporation.
The operators said that requiring them to join a cooperative is “unrealistic”.
A Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board spedificaly cites in its Memorandum Circular No. 2018-008 the consolidation of franchise holders into cooperatives and corporations .
The operators also cited the high cost of a single modern jeepney, since additional features like fire extinguishers, speed limiters, CCTVs, GPS, WIFI and air conditioning units have driven prices of these transport units to levels which small operators cannot afford.
The group believes that a modernized and environment-friendly unit can still be achieved without these additional trappings, which just made a single unit unaffordable.
The cost of a modernized jeepney is estimated at P2 million per unit, which is hardly affordable, as the operators claimed they would have to resort to taking out loans from the Land Bank of the Philippines, or the Development Bank of the Philippines.
A talk between the operators and the City Mayor is yet to be scheduled.