The city government has offered around 3,000 available open slots for the NC3 bus driving program for jeepney drivers affected by the High-Priority Bus System (HPBS).
The bus driving program will be facilitated by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Norman Baloro, HPBS spokesperson, told reporters in an interview on Monday that they expect 12,264 drivers registered both under the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and City Traffic and Transportation Management Office (CTTMO) to avail of the program.
“So far, the applicants only reached around 3,000,” Baloro said, adding that TESDA already secured the slots for 365 drivers.
Baloro added that the number of applicants does not fall behind their target list as the HPBS is still in the process of bidding for bus units.
“We have still a gradual implementation based on the priorities of the routes,” he said.
He said that 903 out of the 3,000 applicants are mostly drivers and operators coming from Toril and Catalunan Grande.
The HPBS officer previously revealed that jeepney drivers who already finished or acquired NC3 certification from Tesda will be given priority by the social packages of the government, as part of the implementation of the HPBS.
The National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) is a 20-day training available to drivers and operators who will be affected in the phase-out of PUJs.
The TESDA will also provide funding support for the training of the drivers.
“There are nine trainers coming from the Central office of TESDA,” he added.
Baloro said there are two certificates issued by TESDA: (1) Certificate of Training for those who have completed the training but was not able to pass; (2) NC3 holder certificate for those who pass the exam.
A total of P18.6 billion was allocated for the implementation of the system as part of the city’s move to modernize transportation.
Baloro also said a separate P950 million coming from different government agencies had been allocated for the non-financial packages intended for the social development program on the implementation of HPBS.
From the P950 million, P300 million comes from the Commission on Higher Education; P100 million from the Department of Labor and Employment; P100 million from Tesda, P100 million from the Department of Trade and Industry; P250 million from the Department of Transportation; and P50 million from the Department of Health.