By Carlo P. Canares
LAOAG CITY, June 3 –When classes in both public and private schools officially open June 4, 2012, many village students who commute daily will again enjoy special 50 percent discounts in their transportation fares through a passenger bus and e-jeeps donated to the city by the provincial government of Ilocos Norte.
The Sirib bus and two e-Jeeps (sirib means wisdom) are among the projects of Gov. Imee Marcos to help ease the village students and parents in their daily transportation expenses. Under this project, the governor targets to attain Millennium Development Goal in general elementary education or Universal Primary Education.
The Sirib bus and e-Jeeps first rolled on the roads last year. Gov. Marcos donated the two e-jeeps and one Sirib bus to the Laoag City government headed by Mayor Michael V. Farinas.
When the opening of classes begins, it is expected that the commuting students and pupils will again avail of the discounted fares from these city government-run transport vehicles.
According to Laoag City Administrator Cipriano Martinez, the operation of the Sirib bus and e-jeeps was proven as great help to the the commuting students during last year’s school classes.
“Naging matagumpay ang programa noong nakaraang taon. Palaging puno ang mga sasakyan ng mga estudyante at malaking tulong ito sa kanila at sa kanilang magulang. Inaasahan namin na malaking ginhawa muli para sa kanila ang maibibigay nito ngayong pasukan,” Martinez said in Tagalog.
Only the elementary pupils and high school students are allowed to ride on these vehicles with 50 percent discount in fares.
Martinez explained that the e-Jeeps will ply a regular route in Brgy. Calayab and Brgy. Caaoacan while the Sirib Bus will ply a regular route in Brgy. Gabu, all village places in Laoag City. Their common destination will be towards the city proper here.
Martinez allayed the fears of some tricycle and jeepney drivers who complained that it may affect their daily earnings. He said the bus and e-jeeps will only bring their passengers to the school in the morning and bring them home in the afternoon. (ANL/CPC-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)