ALBAY Rep. Jose Maria Clemente “Joey” S. Salceda, chair of the House Ways and Means committee, on Tuesday called on the land transport agency to fully reopen all jeepney routes as part of economic recovery measures from the coronavirus pandemic.

“PUJs (public utility jeepneys), as you know, are better ventilated than buses, making them safer, in that respect, from COVID-19,” Mr. Salceda said in a letter to Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairperson Martin B. Delgra III.

“Public transport availability is also a critical component of the country’s strategy to mitigate the impacts of ongoing fuel price hikes,” he said, noting that the LTFRB committed to a full reopening of public transport routes during a committee hearing.

Mr. Salceda also pointed out that there no “plausible reason for the restrictions” on transport routes given the lifting of most pandemic-related rules.

“We already allow massive election rally crowds, face-to-face work and classes, and we have dropped contact tracing requirements. Jeepney drivers should not be left behind in our burgeoning economic recovery,” he said.

Mr. Salceda also asked LTFRB to provide guidelines on the reopening of city and provincial bus routes without pandemic restrictions. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan

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