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Displaced drivers supported in city’s integrated bus system

The jeepney drivers who will be affected in the implementation of the Davao City High Priority Bus System (HPBS) starting this year can expect the full support from the local government.
Dionisio Abude, the chief of the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO), said during the iSpeak forum in City Hall yesterday that the support will ease the transition when their main livelihood is affected.
Among the assistance include P60,000 to P80,000 financial package in addition to the livelihood training from the Technical Education Skills Development Authority for them to learn a new skill when they decide to shift careers.
Meanwhile, jeepney drivers who want to drive the buses instead will be prioritized in the hiring process.
The CTTMO said more than 1,000 buses will be deployed and around 7,000 drivers will be affected by the eventual phaseout of the jeepneys.
The HPBS is a pet project of Mayor Sara Duterte and will get initial funding support from the Department of Transportation, which earmarked P200 million for the project. The project design was prepared by the Asian Development Bank.
However, the city is waiting on the budget from the national government for the full implementation of the HPBS.
Meanwhile, Abude said the 12 augmentation buses are ready to be deployed as soon as the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will provide the special permit.
They will serve commuters in Toril and Catalunan Grande as a temporary solution to the lack of public transportation, especially during rush hours.

By Jay-ar Ahon/ JMC Intern

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