LAOAG CITY — Rolyn Aguinaldo, a student from Solsona could hardly go to school without a few hundred peso bills in her wallet. On a regular school day, she needs to shell out PHP 60 just for transportation alone. But with the government-initiated shuttle service for students, Aguinaldo is one of the first beneficiaries who availed of at least 50 percent discount whenever she rides a public utility jeepney that bears a logo of the Metro Ilocos Norte Council, Sirib and the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte.
Launched on September 9, the Sirib student shuttle services has been rolled out in at least five new routes in various parts of the province to serve student-commuters.
“The service is a big help because my original expenses from Solsona to Batac City costs 60 pesos. With the 50 % discount, I only pay 30 pesos,” said Aguinaldo.
“The 50% discount can help us save more. I can use the money to pay for miscellaneous fees at school,” said Dick Edward Calma who commutes everyday from Bacarra to Laoag City.
Meanwhile, Vanessa Mae Palalay of Burgos town thanked the administration of Governor Ma. Josefa “Imee” Marcos for providing cheap transportation for students. “Aside from reducing our fares, riding the Sirib bus enables us to become more sociable and allow us to meet new friends.”
In an effort to lessen the expenses of youth traveling from remote areas to the university centers, the Ilocos Norte government launched the shuttle service program through the Metro Ilocos Norte Council (MINC) and Ilocos Norte Youth Office (INYO).
“This is a program providing shuttle service at a very discounted rate to our students from the other LGUs in going inside and outside Laoag kasi nandito sa Laoag City at Batac City ang mga eskwelahan natin,” said Cipriano Hilarion Martinez, MINC consultant.
With the said project, Governor Imee Marcos hopes to provide Ilocano students with a more convenient and a cheaper way to pursue their education.
Routes include Bacarra-Pasuquin-Burgos in the north, San Nicolas-Batac and Suba-Paoay in the south, and Sarrat-Dingras-Marcos-Banna-Nueva Era in the east. Signages are put in designated bus stops in each municipality.
The Laoag City Centennial Arena parking lot will serve as the terminal for the shuttle services as they wait for students returning to their towns in the afternoon. PNA/northboundasia.com