Marcos approves 3-month extension to PUV consolidation

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  • President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. approved a three-month extension for the consolidation of public utility vehicles
  • Marcos approved Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista’s recommendation to extend the consolidation until April 30, 2024

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. approved a three-month extension until April 30, 2024 for the consolidation of public utility vehicles.

The extension was recommended by Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista “to give an opportunity to those who expressed intention to consolidate but did not make the previous cut-off,” the Presidential Communications Office said in a statement.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III in a separate statement said they will adhere to Marcos’ directive.

“Operators and drivers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity provided by the President,” Guadiz said.

Industry consolidation is one of the components of the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP), wherein the formation of transport cooperatives or other legal entities will be entitled to benefits such as government subsidies and access to credit facilities, among others, to aid in modernizing their fleets.

The original deadline for consolidation was December 31, 2023. Several transport groups, particularly operators of public utility jeepneys, have asked for an extension.

An extension of sorts was allowed under LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2023-052. The circular allowed unconsolidated individual operators in routes with less than 60% consolidated number of authorized units to operate until January 31, 2024.

READ: LTFRB allows unconsolidated operators to operate until Jan 2024

The same deadline was given to individual operators for routes with no consolidated transport service entities in order not to hamper the operation of public transportation in such areas.

LTFRB said public utility vehicles totaling 190,000 units, comprising of UV Express, PUJs, mini-buses and buses, have availed of consolidation.

As of the mid-January, UV express was able to achieve 82% consolidation; jeepneys, 75%; buses, 86 percent; and mini-buses, 45%.

So far, 1,728 cooperatives and corporations with 262,344 members have been established.

Launched in 2017, the PUVMP is a comprehensive modernization of road public vehicles in the Philippines. The program calls for the phasing-out of jeepneys, buses and other PUVs based on the age limit and replacing them with safer, more comfortable and more environmentally-friendly alternatives. It features a regulatory reform and sets new guidelines for the issuance of franchise for road-based public transport services, and devolved the function of route planning to the local government units.