LTFRB: Traditional Jeepneys may Operate after Dec. Deadline if they join Coops
During a hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Affairs chaired by Senator Grace Poe on Thursday, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) made it clear that the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) deadline for December is for the program’s consolidation, not for the phase-out of traditional jeepney units.
How many PUV units have been consolidated?
LTFRB Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz claimed that 62.4%, or 98,801 PUV units, have already been consolidated.
Will the PUV units be removed if they are not consolidated by December 31?
According to Guadiz, if they are not consolidated by December 31, they will not be removed because for now, the agency is trying to help them consolidate, and they will continue to assist them.
“The deadline is for the consolidation, urging the drivers to come together, consolidate as one, and start the formation as a cooperative in pursuit of the modernization. If they are not consolidated by December 31, they will not be removed because for now, we’re trying to help them consolidate, and we will continue to assist them, seeing to it that no one is left behind. That is my commitment and the commitment of my agency. That is what we intend to do,” LTFRB Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III clarified.
Guadiz stated that the PUVMP scheme’s next phases will come after the consolidation.
“One of which is probably introducing them with a bank for a study on the route and the funding. The phaseout would be the last stage. Wala pa po kami sa stage ng phase-out. Malayo pa po yan (We are not yet at the phase-out stage. That’s a long way off),” he said.
Guadiz claimed that 62.4%, or 98,801 PUV units, have already been consolidated. He asserted that before the year ends, the remaining 165,000 units would be organized into transport cooperatives or corporations.
997 Sandigan Transport Cooperative Chairperson Ferdinand Lupangosy, who also attended the hearing, saw the procedure as a way to monitor the operators’ conduct and distinguish the legitimate PUVs from the illegitimate ones.
“Doon po sa consolidation na tinatawag, identified na kung sinong coop or corporations ang nasa ruta. Hindi na po yung napakaraming indibidwal na hindi po natin alam kung bumibyahe ba talaga sila dun sa oras ng kanilang byahe, so kung pupunta po tayo dun sa side na parang pipigilan po natin yung consolidation, siguro po ang pinaka-the best na gawin natin ay palakasin natin mismo ang LTFRB para mabigyan ng pwersa yung mga panghuhuli dun sa mga maling operations (In the so-called consolidation, we can identify which cooperative or corporations are on the route. There are no longer individuals who we do not know if they are really traveling there at the assigned time, so if we are if we are going to stop the consolidation, maybe the best thing for us to do instead is to empower the LTFRB itself so that it apprehend illegal operations),” Lupangosy said.
The 997 Sandigan Transport Cooperative has 19 modernized jeepney units with 19 operators, 38 drivers, 38 passenger assistance officers, three mechanics, five staff members, and six dispatchers.
Poe’s committee decided to conduct the hearing after unanimously endorsing Resolution 44 on Tuesday, which urged the LTFRB to postpone the scheduled phase-out of traditional jeepneys on June 30.
Poe is advocating for the passage of the Just and Humane PUV Modernization bill, which will be based on discussions and agreements, in the hopes that the hearing would set the program on the proper course.
According to Poe, this bill will act as the consensus among all stakeholders regarding the specific course that PUV modernization will undertake and should the program once more veer off course, it will serve as the foundation for accountability.
Credits to: Zig Wheels