Walang singil! Tugade brings free rides to Metro Cebu

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MANILA – Health care workers and authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) in Metro Cebu will now be able to enjoy free rides through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) service contracting program.

During the program launch on Thursday, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade met with and thanked the drivers for the free service.

“Libre ito para sa mga pasahero. ‘Wag kayong maniningil ha (This is free for passengers. Don’t ask for payment),” Tugade said.

A total of 22 public utility vehicles (PUV) will be providing the free service, five of which are exclusive for health care workers, while the rest are accessible for other APORs.

These PUVs will ply five different routes—Naga City to UC Med; Talisay to Parkmall via SRP; Talisay to Airport via SRP; Talisay to Parkmall via N. Bacalso; and Talisay to SM Seaside via N. Bacalso.

In return for their service, the drivers or operators will receive an increased per-kilometer fee under the Service Contracting Program of PHP82.50 from PHP46.80 for buses; and PHP52.50 from 46.80 for traditional and modern jeepneys.

In addition, drivers and operators who have joined the program from 2020 until April 30, 2021, were also given a PHP25,000 cash incentive, while those who enter the program from May 1 until June 15 will receive PHP20,000 per vehicle.

“This is a very new but transformative public transport model, hindi lang po in short term (this is not only for the short term). We are planting the seed of what public transport should be, which is pang-matagalan na po ito (this is for the long-term),” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra said.

The “Libreng Sakay” helps medical front-liners and other essential workers through free transportation in the midst of the current restrictions brought by the pandemic.

The program helps PUV drivers, too by providing them with additional income in return for extra and improved services. (PNA)