New CDO route extension hit

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – A new routing scheme in this city by virtue of an executive order by Mayor Vicente Emano has created quite a stir among the transport sector and the riding public in today’s first day of the order’s implementation.

Under the new route order, westbound public utility jeepneys (PUJs) will now have to pass through Market City, what used to be Agora, in Barangay Lapasan before going to Cogon Market.

In a radio interview, PUJ drivers of Patag-Camp Evangelista threatened to launch a transport strike to protest the order, saying it will lengthen the route they have to ply every day, adding fuel expenses thus reducing their take home earnings per day.

Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) chief Antonio Montalba, in the same radio program, said that the order has long been implemented, starting two months ago, and that they just phased the implementation due to personnel constraints.

Drivers and operators, in the same radio program, wondered if the new routing scheme would affect their franchises and their insurance coverage.

“What if we meet an accident in Lapasan, will the insurance company pay us,” asked one of the drivers interviewed over radio.

In a phone interview, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB 10) regional director Mandangan Darimbang concurred that the order is legal and that insurance coverage of the franchises will not be affected.

“The order is legal. Our office’s concern is only the origin and destination. The route the jeepneys have to take is the discretion of the city, especially now that we have a lot of road repairs and heavy traffic. It is the prerogative of the city government – through its planning – to implement rerouting,” he said.

On the complaint of drivers having to ply longer routes, Darimbang said they can always conduct a survey on the actual additional kilometers compared to their old routes where this will be the basis for an increase in fare rates. (Cong B. Corrales / MindaNews)