Jeepney and other public utility vehicles along with small operators of the Tacloban northern barangay routes – Tacloban downtown to San Juanico, Tacloban to Tagpuro and Tacloban to Palanog – under public transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) Eastern Visayas challenged today, July 20, the Tacloban City government through Committee Chair on transportation Hon. Edward Frederick Chua to repeal the anti-people and pro-businessmen traffic scheme in the city.
Since last month, Task Force Kanhuraw assisting the Traffic Operations, Management and Enforcement Control Office (TOMECO) restricted public utility vehicles to park and load in Tacloban public market and anywhere in Tacloban downtown area stating that they are only enforcing the Tacloban Comprehensive Traffic Code which was tagged as anti-people by Piston Eastern Visayas.
In a dialogue with TOMECO Head Emmanuel Naval, Eugene Ramirez of Task Force Kanhuraw and Tacloban City Councilor Edward Frederick Chua, the jeepney drivers and operators stressed that all rerouting and traffic ordinances must first undergo public hearings and consultations. They then stressed that they should be allowed to park and pick up passengers for at least twenty minutes at the public market. A dry-run of the proposition will be conducted starting next week before the final amendment of the city ordinance. However, only a maximum of five jeepneys is allowed to park at the said place every twenty minutes.
The first dry-run of e-jeepneys in the Philippines was implemented in Tacloban City which was followed by its full implementation and the consecutive rerouting and traffic scheme amendments. The local government unit also profits from jeepney drivers through the Php5.00 TOMECO collection every day and an additional Php10.00 collected by Brgy. 37 “Seawall” council.
“The city government is obviously protecting the interest of businessmen and theirs especially with the influx of e-jeepneys in the city. They are slowly killing us with their modernization program which is nothing but a farce,” said Piston Eastern Visayas.