LTFRB unfazed by protests to stop PUV modernization

MANILA The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has reiterated its commitment to implement the Public Utility Modernization Program (PUVMP) as members of the militant transport group Piston staged another rally in front of its office Monday.

LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada said the program aims to establish an environmentally sustainable, safe and reliable mode of public transportation to the public.

Tuloy po ang modernization program, kinakailangang gawin ito para sa safety, welfare and convenience ng riding public at para sa future generations natin - Clean Air Act (The modernization program will push through, we need to do this for the safety, welfare and convenience of the riding public and to our future generation - Clean Air Act), Lizada told reporters.

Piston and No to Jeepney Coalition staged a protest to oppose Memorandum Circular 2018-006 or the Guidelines for the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program's Initial Implementation, and MC 2018-008 or the Consolidation of Franchise Holders in Compliance with the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines.

The two orders, issued on March 13 and 18 require, individual franchise holders to form cooperatives and fulfill other requirements such as establishing off-street terminals and acquiring new vehicles that are Euro 4-compliant to replace their old public utility jeepneys (PUJs) - three months after the LTFRB approves their application.

Both groups said that if applicants under the new transport cooperatives did not comply with the requirements, the new routes and franchises will be given to other cooperatives approved by the LTFRB and Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Last June 6, the DOTr has created a one-stop shop for applicants of the PUVMP.

The one-stop shop is located on the 16th Floor of Columbia Tower in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, near the building of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration along EDSA.

The facility houses government agencies concerning the PUV modernization for faster and efficient processing of franchises and new route applications among others.

The PUJ operators and drivers can go to this facility to air their concerns and questions on the modernization program. This has been going on - the matter on the fleet consolidation, they can be guided on this. So all the questions such as I'm only a single operator, what cooperative will I join. They can go to the one stop shop, Lizada said.

DOTr's one-stop shop opens from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on these dates June 6, 14, 22, 29 and July 6, 13, 20, 27.

The DOTr is also providing a subsidy of PHP80,000 for each driver and operator that will comply with the PUVMP covering the 5 percent equity of the loan from the Landbank of the Philippines payable within seven years at an interest rate of 6 percent. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency