BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
About 42 jeepneys will ply seven routes in Bacolod City to cater to healthcare and essential services workers starting today.
The jeepneys are available from 4:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., with a two-hour interval, an advisory from the city Public Information Office said.
The points of origin are the Granada Brgy. Hall, Puno Banago, Bata Bangga Sawmill, Handumanan Brgy. Hall, across Mansilingan Church, Estefania Savemore, and Sum-ag Brgy. Hall.
The central drop-off will be at the Bacolod City public plaza, the advisory said.
The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office will assign personnel per route to assist the passengers.
Councilors Cindy Rojas and Dindo Ramos met with the presidents of various jeepney organizations in Bacolod City yesterday afternoon to finalize the “libre sakay (free ride)” program.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday said that in a conference with Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 6 director Richie Osmena and Bacolod officials Saturday, they agreed in principle to allow the use of public jeepneys to cater only to heathcare workers and essential employees on a prearranged basis without breaking protocols under MECQ.
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental and Bacolod have 306 new coronavirus cases over the weekend, the Department of Health in Western Visayas reported.
For the province, 17 new cases were registered on Saturday and 71 yesterday, bringing the total cases to 1,177.
The province also recorded three fatalities in two days and 229 recoveries.
The DOH said Negros Occidental now has 297 recoveries and 21 fatalities.
There were also 129 new cases reported in Bacolod Saturday and 89 yesterday, bringing the total cases to 2,336.
The city also recorded 123 new recoveries, bringing the total to 779, with 35 deaths.
In Western Visayas, Bacolod has the most number of cases and fatalities, the DOH reported.
It is followed by Iloilo City with 1,428 cases and 33 fatalities.
LAND BANK, DAR CLOSED
The Land Bank of the Philippines announced it will temporarily close its Bacolod-Gatuslao branch after an employee tested positive for Covid-19.
Those who transacted with the branch on September 3 and 4 are urged to undergo self-quarantine.
Also, the provincial office of the Department of Agrarian Reform at BS Aquino Drive in Bacolod City will be temporarily closed starting today until September 18 due to a new Covid-19 case.
This is also to give way to the disinfection and sanitation of the main building and premises. It will resume operations on September 21.*