Special authority granted to BPOs to use shuttle service

Mayor Evelio Leonardia

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Mayor Evelio Leonardia Friday gave business process outsourcing (BPO) companies here the special authority to operate shuttle services for employees within the city during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period.

Leonardia granted the special authority after several vans used by the BPOs were apprehended by Land Transportation agents from Iloilo in a surprise operation here early this week. They were collared for lack of franchise.

The apprehension resulted in BPO agents being stranded while others had to walk home under the heat of the sun after working throughout the night.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) on April 15, 2020 passed Resolution No. 381 authored by Councilor Dindo Ramos, committee on transportation and traffic chair, empowering the mayor to issue a Special Authority to the BPOs for the said purpose.

Leonardia signed the Special Authority Thursday as he acted on the controversy involving the untimely apprehension by agents of Land Transportation Office (LTO) of vans-for-hire being contracted by BPO companies.

But Leonardia clarified that per SP Resolution, the special authority was issued without prejudice to the BPO’s application for a special permit with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and other pertinent rules and regulations.

He stressed that the special authority is non-transferable and is valid only until April 30, 2020.

The resolution stated that the control pass shall be posted on each transport service vehicle.

BPO companies that were granted the special authority were Teletech, Teleperformance, Transcom, Panasiatic Solutions, Ubiquity, IQOR, Concentrix, Telesynergy, and FGC+.

At the height of the controversy Leonardia reached out to LTO and LTFRB officials in Western Visayas to allow the vans-for-hire to continue servicing BPO employees.

Leonardia appealed for humanitarian understanding in dealing with the BPO sector during this crisis.

Both LTO-6 regional director Eric Lenard Tabaldo and LTFRB-6 regional director Richard Osmeña assured Leonardia of their compliance and cooperation on his request.

Public transport has been suspended in Bacolod City and the rest of Negros Occidental after the city and the provincial government declared an Enhanced Community Quarantine from March 30 to April 14, and later extended it to April 30.

But under Executive Order No. 26 of Leonardia, private establishments providing essential goods and services, such as the BPOs, may be allowed to operate.