LAOAG CITY – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has opened at least 13 intra-provincial routes which operators and drivers of public transport can now apply with special permit in the province of Ilocos Norte.
These include a total of eight public utility buses connecting Laoag-Pagudpud and Laoag-Badoc, and 38 public utility jeepney connecting Laoag and the towns of Burgos, Piddig, San Nicolas, Dingras, Marcos, Batac, Paoay, Banna, Nueva Era, Pasuquin, Bacarra and Barangay Gabu in this city.
“Upon the request of our Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc, additional units for each routes will be added to address the shortage of public transportation caused by the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” Metro Ilocos Norte Council Executive Director Cipriano “Perry” Martinez said on Saturday.
Pagudpud resident Rommel Sagucio said this is “good news for commuters” like him who has not been home for more than three months as he stays in Laoag for work.
“I used to go home weekly but since the global pandemic, I could hardly go home due to limited public transport,” he said on Sunday.
Like Sagucio, other residents in various parts of the province who have jobs in the city and have no personal service vehicle are now excited to go home even just for a short period of time so they can be reunited with their family.
Ilocos Norte continues to strengthen safety measures especially on provincial borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.
All returning residents are still required to undergo quarantine in isolation facilities arranged by their respective local government units. Leilanie Adriano / PNA – northboundasia.com