September 25, 2023

Anyone who goes out of their residence for essential reasons may avail of the“Libreng Sakay para sa mga APOR” program of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

LTFRB-Cordillera OIC Director Lalaine Sobremonte said during the June 7 session of the city council that since Baguio City is currently under general community quarantine, residents aged 18 to 65 are considered authorized persons outside residence(APOR) may enjoy free rides under the program.

Sobremonte said even those who go out to buy essential goods are considered APOR and may board a vehicle offering free rides under the LTFRB’s “Libreng Sakay” Program, Sobremonte said.

The city council advised the LTFRB-Cordillera to further inform the public the program is for anyone allowed to go out of the house so as to cater to more people especially that long queues are still observed in many jeepney terminals and loading areas in the city.

Several members of the city council also observed some public utility vehicles offering free rides are plying roads with very few passengers.

Sobremonte assured that their office will intensify their information drive and that the drivers will be reminded to pick up all hailing passengers since almost everyone going out is an APOR.

There are eight routes catered to by the free ride program for APOR and medical health workers as of May 27.

These routes are Baguio City-Dalupirip, Itogon and vice versa; Ambayao-La Chesa, Tuba and vice versa; Baguio City-Crystal Cave and vice versa; Baguio City-Binga via Twin River and vice versa; Baguio City-Binga via Guisset and vice versa; Baguio City-Kereng, Tinongdan and vice versa; Baguio City-Trancoville and vice versa; and Baguio City-Aurora Hill and vice versa.

The Libreng Sakay program started on April 27 and will end on June 30.

LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2021-008 provides the guidelines on the nationwide implementation of free rides for medical health workers. In MC 2021-029, the free ride was expanded to include APOR.

Sobremonte said all transport cooperatives and corporations were encouraged to support and participate in the.

Cooperatives or corporations that participate in the program are paid P52.50 per daily actual kilometer for modernized and traditional public jeepneys and P82.50 for public utility buses where 30 percent of the weekly payout goes to the drivers as their salaries and the 70 percent to the operators to cover daily operational and maintenance costs.

The Libreng Sakay program is a derivative of the PUV service contracting program, which aims to give temporary relief to critically affected workers in the public transport sector. – Jordan G. Habbiling