THE LIST of jeepney drivers and operators who will be affected by the roll-out of the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) in Davao City will be finalized by March for the distribution of social compensation packages. Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in a statement released late Sunday, assured that various “social safety nets, economic assistance and capacity building” will be available to cushion the impact of the shift to a more efficient public transport system. Ms. Carpio said “eligible jeepney operators, operators-drivers and drivers” can choose “whether to participate in the HPBS, or to exit from the public transportation sector,” which will be the basis for the assistance package that will be extended. Among the social compensation items are scholarship for a beneficiary’s dependent with support from the Congressional fund, cash assistance, training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and livelihood kits from a P95-million fund under the Department of Trade and Industry. The city government has also allocated P540 million from its budget. Around 1,000 units will be deployed for the HPBS, replacing 7,000 public utility jeepneys in 29 routes around the city. “The city government is eyeing the first quarter of 2020 to roll out the first operation of low-floor buses in Catalunan Grande and in Diversion Road, and the opening of the proper route for the north to south commuters,” she said.