City councilor calls on modernized jeep drivers to avoid overloading

Commuters ride a modernized jeepney in Iloilo City. (Rjay Zuriaga Castor photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

Councilor Sedfrey Cabaluna, chairperson of the city council’s transport committee, said the responsibility for managing passenger numbers and preventing overloading in jeepneys lies with the drivers and conductors.

“Part sang ila responsibility ang pagmonitor sang masakay […] Even mamilit ang pasahero kung mangin responsable ang atun modernized jeepneys […] May pwertahan man na nga pwede indi nila pagbuksan kung puno sila,” said Cabaluna in an interview on Wednesday.

Only a maximum of 10 passengers may stand on board under the enhanced Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP).

The city councilor furthered that modernized jeepneys should exemplify the essence of modernization by offering a better, safer, and more convenient alternative to traditional jeepneys.

“Otherwise, kung amo man dyapon ang maging resulta then what are we modernizing? The facility but not how we approach and ang pagdalagan sa dalan,” he added.

Cabaluna said he plans to arrange a coordination meeting with the Land Transportation Office and the city’s Public Safety and Transportation Management office next week to ensure the safety enforcement component of the LPTRP.

“We really need to be stricter, kay ang atun units nga ni safe. Kung haras haras ang driver, makabunggo ang atun modernized jeepney because they are running on speed and cutting lanes,”

Cabaluna also disclosed his plans to intervene and conduct skills and disciplinary training for drivers and conductors, as cooperatives appear to have fallen short in providing adequate training.

“It appears now nga kinahanglan gid natun magpanaog directly sa atun mga drivers. We will train them personally,” he said, reiterating his dissatisfaction over the vehicular accidents involving modernized jeepneys that are still occurring.

He also suggested that cooperatives should require drivers to sign an affidavit of undertaking to ensure their compliance with safety and operational standards

“We will go down. We will talk to the individual drivers. Maybe require these cooperatives to issue an affidavit of undertaking to make sure nga mas maghalong sila sa dalan. There’s no excuse. Ang modernization was made to protect our people to make it safer for public transport,” he said.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has recently ordered the PSTMO to implement the city’s LPTRP at “the earliest possible time.”

As part of their ongoing efforts to prepare for the LPTRP rollout, the PSTMO is currently installing temporary loading and unloading signs particularly in the city’s central district.

The PSTMO is eyeing to implement the LPTRP before the end of 2023.