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DOTr provides sanitary kits to NorMin transport cooperatives.

CITY OF CAGAYAN DE ORO – Transportation cooperatives in Northern Mindanao have appreciated recent support from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in the form of cleanliness kits.

The hygiene packets provided by the DOTr were huge assistance, according to Luzminda Lalaine Escobidal, manager of the PN Roa Canitoan Transport Cooperative (Ponstransco), who claimed they needed them for the safety of drivers and passengers.

Three gallons of sanitizers, a gallon of alcohol, face masks, and face shields were among the 1,141 cartons that arrived from the DOTr central office.

The kits were given to them and other transportation cooperatives this week, according to Escobidal, and will continue for the next three weeks.

She stated that the kits will be beneficial to the operation of their cooperative.

“We drink a gallon of alcohol every day.” Keep in mind that it’s PHP500 (per gallon). Because of this, we’ll save a few hundred pesos in expenses,” Escobidal added.

She stated that the sanitizers will be used to disinfect their fleet of vehicles, as well as their drivers and passengers.

“We have to disinfect since our units are PUVMP-compliant, which means they’re airconditioned,” Escobidal explained.

Pontransco currently operates 15 updated Euro five-grade public utility vehicles with 39 drivers on the PN Roa and Canitoan routes.

Escobidal claims to be the country’s first transportation cooperative to deploy “tap card” technology for fare collection.

Pontransco does not require conductors to collect fares from passengers because of this technology.

The Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTCsupervisory )’s cooperative development specialist, Ian Ragragio, said the hygiene packages were distributed last in the Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions.

According to him, the project cost PHP40 million.

Ragragio stated that distribution of the sanitation kits began in December last year in the National Capital Region and Luzon, but that it was delayed because the Department of Transportation had to meet all of the bidding conditions before making a purchase.

The OTC official told the public, however, that the help would not be the last, as the agency is working on methods to help public utility drivers and operators who have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

“This is just the start.” Other sorts of aid will be distributed in the near future,” he added.

According to Aminoden Guro, director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board – Northern Mindanao (LTFRB-10), more than 40 transport cooperatives accredited with the OTC are among the recipients of the hygiene supplies.

The DOTr regulates both OTC and LTFRB.

Currently, public utility vehicles, particularly jeepneys and modernized fleets, are authorized to have a 70% capacity, according to Guro.

“The Department of Transportation wanted 100 percent capacity, but the Inter-Agency Task Force only approved 70 percent,” he explained.

According to Guro, the Department of Transportation is also planning to give a PHP2.5 billion gasoline subsidy for drivers and operators to help them manage increased oil prices and lower income due to the epidemic.

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