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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

OPERATORS and drivers of public utility jeepneys in Pavia, Iloilo invited their counterparts in Sta. Barbara town to join their newly-minted group if they want to continue the privileges under the Perimeter Boundary Ordinance (PBO) of Iloilo City.

Sangguniang Bayan Member Otoniel Gonzaga said in an interview over Serbisyo Publiko hosted by Councilor Perla S. Zulueta that the Pavia Jeepney Drivers and Operators Association (PJODA) are willing to accept drivers and operators who ply the Sta. Barbara based jeepneys    

Gonzaga said they have long invited their counterparts in Sta. Barbara to settle their dispute over two major routes in Iloilo City.

The formation of PJODA upset four Sta. Barbara jeepney groups claiming they have lost substantial income because of the new route.

Sta. Barbara jeepney drivers said they lost the “first town” privilege under the PBO because of the presence of Pavia jeepneys traversing the LaPaz and Diversion Road routes.

Under the PBO, 50% of jeepneys operating from towns right next to the city are allowed to ferry passengers into the metropolis.

For second towns, such as Sta. Barbara, only 15% of jeepneys in each association are allowed to enter Iloilo City.

The Sta. Barbara jeepney groups petitioned for a temporary restraining order (TRO) with prayer for injunction against the operation of PJODA.

Executive Judge Antonio Natino granted a 72-hour TRO for the petitioners while hearing the main motion for an injunction. Natino later lifted the TRO and trashed the petition.

Gonzaga said they still have room for Sta. Barbara jeepneys who want to join PJODA.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board granted 100 slots each for the Pavia-LaPaz and Pavia-Diversion Road routes, he added.

“There is still room for more or less 50 units per route. If they want to join us and enjoy the privileges we have,” Gonzaga said.

Gonzaga said the Pavia route has more than enough passengers because several barangays in New Lucena and southern portion of Iloilo City pass through their town.

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PBO bane to Iloilo City’s tourism?

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Department of Tourism (DoT) and a tourist bus operator slammed traffic managers in Iloilo City for being “unfriendly” to the tourism sector.

DOT regional director Edwin Trompeta riled at the deliberate refusal of the Traffic Technical Working Group (TTWG) and Traffic Management and Engineering Unit (TMEU) to allow a tourist bus to enter the city and fetch a group of tourism officers.

Trompeta said the Iloilo Tourism Officers Association (ITOA) tried to secure a permit from the TTWG to allow a bus of Philippine Visitors, Investors Services and Assistance, Inc. (Philvisa) to fetch them from a hotel and tour the city and province of Iloilo.

The DoT official said the tour was part of ITOA’s seminar in Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center last week.

But Trompeta claimed the TTWG did not act on the application nor did it inform ITOA on the status of its request for special permit.

Buses and other public utility vehicles are barred from entering the city because of the perimeter boundary ordinance (PBO).

“What happened was that 80 tourism officers boarded passenger jeepneys to the terminal in Pavia where the Philvisa bus was waiting. What happened is not very good for the tourism sector of Iloilo City,” Trompeta said.

Max Sorbito, Philvisa manager, said they learned that TTWG did not act on the special permit because the TMEU lacks personnel that will direct traffic when the bus goes around the city.

Sorbito said the actuation of the TTWG will drive away tourists and investors from Iloilo City.

Trompeta said the millions of pesos spent by the Iloilo City government to promote the city as tourism destination will go to waste if visitors find it hard to go around the metropolis.

The Iloilo City Council, through the committee on transportation and communication, turned Philvisa’s bid to ply the Iloilo airport-Iloilo City route because it runs counter to the PBO.

Taxi groups in Iloilo City opposed Philvisa’s operations in Iloilo City saying it will reduce their passengers.

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