Oliver Bugarin 8 0 0 4 min to read

Iloilo City hopes for less congestion on the first day of classes.

The highly urbanized city of Iloilo has taken steps to ensure a smooth traffic flow and safe travel for the start of courses on August 22.

The Task Force Balik Eskwela was created by the Iloilo City Police Office, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to monitor student movements and ensure their safety, according to Jeck Conlu, head of the Iloilo City Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO).

“We are requesting everyone’s cooperation. Let’s adhere to our enforcers on the road so that we don’t experience delays, Conlu remarked.

A minimum of 1,800 modernized transportation jeepneys will be able to travel the city’s 24 routes starting next week, thanks to additional special permissions that the PSTMO has requested from the LTFRB and transport cooperatives in anticipation of the flood of passengers.

He calculated that there are currently 1,550 public utility trucks operating on city streets.

We’ll find out next week. We will keep asking for augmentation if we determine that the amount is insufficient, Conlu added.

In addition to the ongoing road cleaning activities, the PSTMO will also send employees to places where it is anticipated that there will be a high volume of traffic, especially on roads leading to schools.

These include the crossroads in Taft North, Mandurriao, General Luna Street in the City Proper, Luna, La Paz leading to E. Lopez Street in Jaro, Tabuk Suba also in Jaro, and Molo Plaza.

“We move people around. In the morning and the afternoon, we will increase our staff in less crowded places, he added.

Additionally, traffic officers will be stationed on roads close to large schools to help with passenger loading and unloading and at pedestrian crossings.

Conlu stated that two teams from the LTO and LTFRB will be tasked with keeping an eye on any potential “colorum” or unlicensed automobiles.

According to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) rapid count for the Iloilo City Schools Division as of 8 a.m. on Friday, there are already 39,645 students registered for Kindergarten through Grade 6, 28,010 for Grades 7 through 10, and 22,209 for Senior High School.

To help students, the Antique Provincial Police Office (APPO) in Antique will set up Police Assistance Desks on the school grounds.

According to Staff Sgt. John Mark Gonzaga, APPO information officer, “the police will also make sure that the students correctly observe the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) health procedure, such as the safe physical separation.”

128,830 students have already registered for classes at the 603 primary and secondary schools in the province, according to the DepEd Schools Division of Antique.

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