BY GERRY LEE GORIT & ERCEL MAANDIG, MDNN Reporters
CAMIGUIN – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) headed by Secretary Art Tugade, launched the Service Contracting Program Phase 2 in this island province, with contract signing between the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Camiguin Transport Cooperative (CAMTRANSCO).
Based on the program, the daily income of the drivers and operators would be counted per kilometer, whether they have passengers or not.
Under the program, the government is implementing the “Libreng Sakay” especially for medical and essential workers and authorized persons outside residence (APORS), while the coop members continue their services to the riding public amidst the pandemic.
“Sana ‘ho tangkilikin at tuparin natin ‘yung mga mandato sa tinatawag na Service Contracting [program]. Sana ‘ho bigyang tibay ninyo ‘yung tinatawag natin na Libreng Sakay. Sa ganung paraan, sa inyong pamamaraan, sa inyong paghahanap-buhay, makakatulong kayo sa pagbukas at pag-unlad ng ekonomiya. Makakatulong kayo sa inyong mga may-bahay, makakatulong kayo sa inyong mga minamahal sa buhay,” appeals Secretary Art Tugade to the drivers.
There are now 35 public utility jeepneys in Camiguin Island that are ready to be used under the “Libreng Sakay” routes from Mambajao to Mambajao (circumferential loop).
Camiguin Governor Jurdin Jesus Romualdo welcomed the good news for the drivers and the riding public in the island as announced by Sec Art Tugade of the DOTr, for the national government’s initiatives.
“Natutuwa po talaga ako, kami, ang pamilya, at lahat ng opisyales sa Camiguin, [dahil] ang buong DOTr family ay nandito po sa probinsya ng Camiguin. Again, in behalf of the province and the constituency of the province, maraming maraming salamat sa pagpunta niyo dito sa Camiguin. Hindi po namin makalimutan ‘to, ‘yung pagtulong ninyo sa amin sa hirap at ginhawa,” adds Governor JJ Romualdo.
Mayor Iñigo Romualdo also made it sure that the local government is one with the national government in strictly implementing health protocols in public transport services, especially with the gradual opening again of Camiguin to local, national and international tourists to help boost the island’s economy again.
Also present during the formal launching of “Libreng Sakay” and the Service Contracting Program Phase 2 were: DOTr Undersecretary for Finance Giovanni Lopez, Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Steven Pastor, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra, LTFRB-10 Regional Director Allan Guro, at LTO-10 Regional Director Nelson Manaloto.