DOTr to sign franchising guidelines for PUVs by end May

MANILA-- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to sign before the end of this month the omnibus franchising guidelines for public transportation as part of efforts to modernize public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade stated that the PUV modernization program seeks to make public transport safe and enjoyable, reduce air pollution, and move people efficiently.

The Omnibus Franchising Guidelines will be signed before the end of May. Old and dilapidated vehicles will no longer be allowed to ply along major roads, Tugade has said during the 62nd anniversary of the police's Highway Patrol Group (HPG) Monday.

The franchising guidelines are expected to eliminate illegally franchised vehicles by rationalizing routes according to the needs of local government units (LGUs).

PUVs are to be provided in underserved areas while those routes that are heavily congested will be rationalized. LGUs will be required to submit their route plans, which will serve as the basis for the franchises to be issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The government has provided a financial assistance program for public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators and drivers to modernize the country's public transport.

The Landbank's Special Environment Friendly and Efficiently Driven (SPEED) program will provide a credit facility to drivers and operators to enable them to replace their PUJs in compliance with the government's public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

An initial budget of PHP1 billion for individual loans will be awarded to 650 PUJ operators and drivers in Metro Manila to enable them to acquire a jeepney with a minimum requirement of Euro-4 engine or better.

Source: Philippines News Agency