The city government reiterated that jeepney operators are not allowed to sell their franchise in the light of the soon-to-be-implemented high priority bus system (HPBS).
Lawyer Tristan Dwight Domingo, assistant city administrator, told media during the I-Speak media forum on Thursday that selling of franchise is strictly against the law and advised jeepney operators to surrender the franchise to the government.
“Katong namaligya na ug prangkisa in the past, ang policy namo karon is we are going to honor it ang importante naa sila’y deed of sale pero ang katong karon pa lang kay naa na ning HPBS project unya mamaligya sila ug unya naa pud mamalit, bawal na jud. The best thing to do there is kung dili naka ganahan mamasada i-surender ang imong prangkisa sa gobyerno kay dili na imong propiyedad,” Domingo said stressing that those who sold their franchises may be disqualified from availing city government’s assistance for the affected drivers and operators.
Jeepney drivers and operators can avail of any of the five social compensation packages offered such as educational assistance, skills training, and cash-for-work assistance. Each jeepney driver and an operator can choose three among the five packages being offered.
The five packages offered are programs of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Department of Health (DOH).
Under the DOLE program, the driver, operator or their designated beneficiaries can avail the one-month cash-for-work program and get paid at least P11,000. This is on top of the financial assistance that will be given to them.
DTI is offering livelihood kits and capacitate individuals to become entrepreneurs while TESDA also offers various skills training, the top priority for which is a NC3 level course for bus driving and other automotive related courses.
CHED offers a four-year course education grant of P15,000 per year for four consecutive years for one beneficiary of the driver or operator. On top of the health assistance that the beneficiary can get from PhilHealth, Lingap, Malasakit Center, DOH will give them an additional P5,000 to P10,000 as medical assistance.
These packages can be availed by the operators and drivers themselves or their designated and qualified beneficiaries up to the 4th civil degree of relationship.
“Karon kay naa man ta’y programa nga mag-ilis ta ug jeep padulong sa bus, kinahanglan katong naay mga prangkisa dili ipasa or ibaligya sa lain kay katong naka-andam nga assistance nga ihatag sa gobyerno basin ma-disqualify na nuon silang duha. Kinahanglan masabtan nato nga ang gobyerno mu-assist jud sa tanang tao at kung namaligya sila ug prangkisa that is something against the law unya tagaan pa jud nato sila ug assistance. Dili na pud angay,” Domingo said.
Domingo also advised those jeepney operators who are holding franchises to just continue operating as the project is not yet fully operational.
“Katong mga naay prangkisa karon stay put na lang to sila. We are also appealing to them na since wala pa nag-full operation ang atong bus system, magpadayon pa sila ug pamasada sa kadalanan kay nakita pud nato nga naglisod ang atong mga pasahero,” he added.
About 135 buses will be deployed for the first phase of HPBS that will cover the Toril, Catalunan Grande, and Diversion road routes. Around 1,000 bus units will cover the 29 routes around the city.
The HPBS is one of the city’s answer to address the worsening traffic situation in the city, and seeks to provide a safe, convenient, sustainable and efficient public transportation for all.