By Rjay Zuriaga Castor
The province of Iloilo is set to have its simulation exercise (SimEx) or pilot testing of its Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) in November this year.
“We are positioning for a simulation this November […] We will join forces with the city and our partner agencies for a simulation to test our levels in our LPTRP while awaiting for the final approval,” said Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. in a press conference on Friday.
Defensor said the SimEx will determine the viability of all LPTRP routes and if all awarded public transport can cater to all the riding public.
The province’s LPTRP for 2023 to 2026 consists of 67 rationalized routes and eight new or developmental routes.
The province submitted the transport route plan to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Region 6 (LTFRB-6) in May.
Following this, the plan will be sent to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for review and feedback.
According to Mario Nillos, chief of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, upon its approval, the DOTr will issue a Notice of Compliance to be forwarded to the Defensor.
Subsequently, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan will then enact it into a zoning ordinance, which will then lead to the DOTr issuing a memorandum circular for the implementation of the transport route plan.
It can be recalled that in March this year, the DOTr returned the province’s LPTRP to the LTFRB-6 for a “minor comment.”
Meanwhile, the city’s LPTRP which has a total of 25 rationalized routes, received approval from the LTFRB in a Memorandum Circular released on August 23.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas has recently directed the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) head Jeck Conlu to implement the city’s LPTRP at “the earliest possible time.”
The PSTMO is currently fast tracking the installation of temporary loading and unloading signages, particularly routes in the city proper area.
Conlu previously said that first town jeepneys (Pavia, Leganes, and Oton) are welcome to the city roads since they will also have their designated loading and unloading areas.
The PSTMO head said they are eyeing to implement the LPTRP before the end of 2023.