Dispatchers or barkers from the 88 public utility jeepney (PUJ) associations serving the BLISTT (Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay) have been tapped as traffic marshalls to help implement the minimum health protocols against the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among commuters in the various PUJ terminals.
The Baguio City Police Office under City Director P/Col. Allen Rae Co formally deputized the dispatchers during the launching of the Baguio City Transport Marshalls program presided over by Deputy City Director for Administration P/Lt. Col. Edward Aquintey and Traffic Enfotcement Unit Chief P/Lt. Col. Oliver Panabang last Sept. 5 at the Igorot Garden, Burnham Park.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong lauded the BCPO, the jeepney associations and the dispatchers for the initiative to guard their own ranks and the riding public against the dangers of the COVID-19 saying this is crucial at this time that the city is in the process of easing up restrictions to reopen the economy.
Co said the program was conceptualized based on the BCPO Traffic Plan incorporating the observance of the minimum health standards and other health and safety protocols in anticipation of the gradual re-opening of businesses and tourism in the city and the Cordillera region.
“Since mass transportation is one of the most vulnerable and possible sources of COVID-19 transmission, the BCPO recognized the important role that the (transport group) will play in our overall strategy in the fight against the virus,” Co said.
He said the dispatchers underwent orientation on the proper implementation of the health and safety measures among the passengers.
They will assume the following tasks: checking of passengers’ facemask, faceshield, ensure the observance of social distancing before boarding and the regular disinfection of the PUJ units before and after loading.
The new marshalls will continue to man their stations and will wear their vests as uniforms for easy recognition. The vests are marked with the seal of Baguio City and BCPO Transport Marshall “Disiplina Muna, Pasahero ko , Bantay Ko.”
Co said that as volunteers, they will not get any compensation but this will serve as the PUJ association’s contribution to the anti-COVID-19 campaign.
“We thank our the associations and our barkers for their cooperation. These are additional tasks for them but they willingly accepted as part of their duty and responsibility in our ongoing fight against our public enemy no. 1, the COVID-19,” Co said. – Aileen P. Refuerzo