February 9, 2023

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Benguet has approved an ordinance allowing public utility jeepney operators to install tip boxes inside PUJs servicing the different towns in the province.
“The limited operational capacity, while maintaining the regular fare of PUJs and with additional maintenance costs, has significantly reduced the daily revenue of the operators and drivers,” said Board Member Juan Nazarro, principal author of the ordinance.
The ordinance will remain in effect until the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board issues a directive allowing the full operational capacity of PUJs or a fare adjustment.
“There is a need to find legal ways to cope with the added costs and loss of revenue by PUJ operators and drivers,” he said.
The LTFRB-CAR said collecting additional fare from passengers is illegal. However, passengers may give donations.
LTFRB-CAR Officer-in-Charge Lalaine Sobremonte has urged PUJs drivers and operators to consolidate for easier granting of special permits to operate during the community quarantine periods and towards the new normal.
“What we did, as per guidelines that they should be consolidated, is give priority to the routes that have cooperatives. If they didn’t pass the requirements, we look for the next route,” Sobremonte said.
She said they have asked municipal planning development officers to meet with their respective transport groups and help organize themselves. – Ofelia C. Empian