An official of the City Cooperative Development Office (CCDO) on Tuesday suggested that transport cooperatives that will be affected by the looming implementation of the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) in Davao City may form a consortium to handle one route of the said project.
Luzminda Eblamo, officer-in-charge of the City Cooperative Development Office, said that CCDO is currently working on identifying a consortium of cooperatives that is capable of serving at least one route for HPBS and has financial capacity to do so.
The Department of Transportation (DoTr) states that HPBS has 29 bus routes divided into four levels: Metro Davao forms the core services connecting all major commercial centers with five routes, Davao Inter runs eight routes connecting urban areas directly to the central business of Davao. The Davao Feeder District runs nine routes that connect smaller centers and areas with more scattered populations to Metro Davao services, and Davao Local provides connectivity between the outer rural areas of the city and the main transportation system or integrated terminals.
“Yan ang aming gina work out we are trying to capacitate or organize a federation or a consortium of these transport coops but the challenge is are they ready to handle that route in terms of their financial capacity? Because dako gyud ang costing ana specially buying buses. Possibly, if we have a consortium of cooperatives, we need to capacitate them and kinahanglan naay financial infusion and they can do this if they have a consortium coming from big cooperatives nga puwede maghatag ug financial infusion para sa ani nga programa if ever the government thru HPBS would give that cooperative a chance to have even at least one route,” Eblamo said over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on Tuesday.
Eblamo explained that operators/drivers have to be in their cooperatives for them to see the importance of being in a cooperative rather than in an organization.
“Sa ating cooperative sector we are trying our best to reach out operators kung unsa man ang puwede namo matabang sa ilaha. There is also a compensation package for operators and drivers. They have to be in their cooperatives kay importante nga makit-an nila ang importance ngano kinahanglan mag cooperative rather than an organization kay kung cooperative you are co-owners specially sa transport coops,” she said.
The HPBS will replace over 15 years old and no longer roadworthy public utility vehicles (PUVs) with low-floor city buses.
The government will offer as part of the social development package for impacted drivers and operators, owners of outdated jeepneys will also get a sum of money for each unit that is scrapped on top of the financial, technical, and livelihood assistance.
“Katong ma-displaced specially transport coops we will be there to support them in terms of livelihoods and katong ma displaced our office will be very ready to train them in partnership with TESDA. Kailangan natin i-hone ang kanilang skills. These displaced drivers will be supported by our office in terms of livelihood programs,” Eblamo said.
She is hopeful that the HPBS would start next year.