The city needs around 3,000 bus drivers for the implementation of the High Bus Priority System (HPBS).
Atty. Tristan Dwight Domingo, assistant city administrator, said in a press conference on Thursday that around 1,000 buses will be deployed for the HPBS project.
“For this, we will be needing around that much of bus drivers since there will be a shifting,” he said.
He said that around 300 public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers who will be affected by the implementation of the HPBS have already signified interest regarding the National Certification III (NC III) bus and truck driving course offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)
“This is a good sign. Many have inquired already following the HPBS implementation, and during our consultation dialogues most of these drivers said they are interested to apply for the NC III training,” he said.
Previously, HPBS social development officer in charge Norman Baloro said those who will be undergoing training will be a priority during the employment of bus drivers.
Domingo said they have to pass the course and be given certification as proof of passing the NC III training.
However, he said the employment will still depend on the number of drivers who passed the training.
“If those drivers who passed are small in number, then we have to employ those who are among the best even if they did not pass. We have to employ them under the three routes (Toril, Catalunan Grande, Diversion Road) for the initial phase,” he said.
“But as much as possible we wanted our buses to be driven by certified or qualified drivers. That’s why they need to really pay attention and pass the certification,” he added.
He also said that the wives of these drivers can also avail this package as alternative for their husbands.
“Of course with the technology now and how easy the buses will be operated soon, women can be the driver, as long as they pass the training,” he said.
Domingo bared that some operators are still not decided since they are still finalizing the terms of reference or the key performance indicators that would govern their operation schemes.
He, however, said that existing provincial bus operators and some cooperative jeepney operators have already inquired and sent letters to the city government as many of them are also interested to apply as HPBS operators.
“Although there are many inquiries already, we still can’t process anything yet as of the moment as there are still no terms of reference,” he said.
Only a maximum of five operators will be chosen to operate the high-end buses.
“The lesser operators we have, the more we can manage the system efficiently,” he said, adding that this will be an advantage if there will be problems during bus operations.
He said that the said implementation of the HPBS is aimed to start middle of the year.