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BAGUIO CITY – The local government ordered the Baguio Traffic and Transportation Technical Working Group (BTTTWG) to allow more public utility jeepneys (PUJs) and taxis to operate on Sundays to serve the transportation requirements of the senior citizens who have been allowed to go out of their residences on Sundays.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said that he does not want to be boarded with complaints from senior citizens on the alleged insufficient number of taxis and jeepneys that cater to their transportation requirements when they are allowed to go out on Sundays.
Aside from increasing the number of taxis that will operate on Sundays to 150, the local chief executive said it is important for the group to consider adding to the number of PUJs that will come from the different barangays for the benefit of the senior citizens.
Engr. Richard Lardizabal, BTTTWG chairman, said that there are only 2 jeeps from the different barangays while 22 taxis are also authorized to operate on Sundays which is lockdown day in the city.
However, Magalong allowed senior citizens to go out of their residences on Sundays to allow them to attend to their essential needs or go out in public places to unwind.
He pointed out the need to provide the senior citizens with available transportation because not all of them have vehicles to go to their desired places and for their safety from being exposed to the elements that will cause them to contract the virus or other illnesses that will compromise their health condition.
Lardizabal stated that the group will work out the increase in the number of available taxis and jeepneys on Sundays to make it convenient for senior citizens to go out of their residences and attend to important activities on their wellbeing and allow them to enjoy at least d outside their homes.
Under the guidelines crafted by the national inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, individuals aged 20 years old and below and those 6 years old and above, especially those with underlying medical conditions and co-morbidities, are not allowed to go out of their residences, except when attending to emergency or medical needs.
Senior citizens welcomed the decision of the local government allowing them to go out of their residences on Sundays but called on the concerned offices to make available taxis and jeepneys that will ferry the from the different barangays to their destinations in the central business district for them to be able to accomplish their programmed essential activities prior to going back to their homes.
During Sundays, total lockdown is imposed on businesses and groceries that are located within the premises of the city public market while similar establishments that are situated outside the facility and in the barangays will remain open to cater to the essential needs of the senior citizens and the authorized persons outside their residences who need the goods and services that are offered by the said establishments.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis