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Isko Moreno asks Manila jeepney drivers to stop cutting trips

Sofia Tomacruz
Isko Moreno asks Manila jeepney drivers to stop cutting trips
The Manila mayor also promises that the city government will police drivers who are operating without franchises and are found to be disobeying traffic rules

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Mayor Isko Moreno asked jeepney drivers of the city on Tuesday, July 9, to stop cutting trips short so as not to inconvenience commuters.

Moreno made his request in a dialogue held with leaders of jeepney drivers’ associations on Tuesday at city hall.

“Meron naman ako pakiusap hindi para sa akin. Buong kababaang loob, I’m begging you…. Para ito sa mga kliyente ninyo, sa mga pasahero ninyo. Once and for all, p’wede bang makisuyo? P’wede na bang tigilan ‘yung cutting trip?” Moreno said.

(I have something to ask that isn’t for myself. I humbly beg you…. This is for your clients and passengers. Once and for all, may I please request something? Can we stop cutting trips?)

Among the new mayor’s initiatives was to get jeepney drivers to complete trips to and from destinations offered. Incomplete trips, he said, were among commuters’ woes which forced them to walk long distances on busy roads or pay almost double for additional trips to get to their destinations.

Moreno also appealed to drivers to support him in bringing back order to Manila’s roads. He assured them that the city government would police drivers operating without franchises and are found to be disobeying traffic rules.

“Ngayon may cancer, ang cure tayo. ’Pag magaling na, wala nang cancer, mga anak natin ang makikinabang pagdating ng araw sa lungsod na ating inayos, at naging bahagi [kayo] ng pagsasaayos,” Moreno said.

(There’s cancer now, we are the cure. When things get better and there is no more cancer, it is our children who will benefit in the city that we fixed, and you took part in fixing it.)

Pasang Masada president Obert Martin, one of the leaders who attended the dialogue, said drivers would agree to Moreno’s request as he was convinced it would improve traffic in Manila.

In an interview with Rappler days after his proclamation in May, Moreno explained why jeepneys would cut their trips short: “Gusto ko, gamitin din ng mahirap ang kalye kasi mahirap din naman ang gumagamit ng kalye. Most of it. Sino ba sumasakay sa jeep? 90% ng sumasakay sa jeep mahirap din, dahil kung mayaman ‘yan ‘di naman sasakay sa jeep. Eh nagka-cutting trip [ang jeep]. Bakit? Eh kasi walang madaanan. Bakit? Eh it’s chaotic.”

(I want the poor to also use the roads, they are the ones who use the roads, most of them. Who takes the jeep? 90% of them are the poor, because if you’re rich you’re not going to take the jeep. But jeepneys cut trips. Why? Because they can’t go through the roads. Why? Because streets are chaotic.)

The new mayor has been making headlines for the drastic changes he is implementing to address problems which have plagued the city for years. These include street clearing operations to decongested Manila’s main thoroughfares, reminding foreigners to respect rules in the city, and ordering politicians’ names removed from public schools.

Moreno has made grand promises to bring about a new Manila, which include cleaning up the city and offering social services to youth and senior citizens.

Moreno earlier promised Manileños they could expect nothing less than an active government during his term. (READ: ‘Wala nang mayor na natutulog sa Maynila’ – Isko Moreno) – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.