No further extension to PUV modernization deadline

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No further extension to PUV modernization deadline
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  • The government will no longer extend after April 30, 2024 the consolidation of public transport operators and drivers into one entity under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program
  • President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the franchise consolidation will no longer be extended after it was already extended for another three months last January
  • Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista said that consolidation of transport workers into a cooperative or corporation will help address traffic congestion in the metropolis

The government will no longer extend after April 30, 2024 the consolidation of public transport operators and drivers into one entity under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), according to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

In a townhall meeting on April 10, Marcos said the franchise consolidation will no longer be extended after it was already extended for another three months last January to provide an opportunity to those who want to consolidate but had failed to do so.

READ: Marcos approves 3-month extension to PUV consolidation

At ang kahuli-hulihan ay asahan po ninyo wala na pong extension ‘yung modernization (PUVMP). Kailangang na kailangan na natin ‘yan,” Marcos said.

(“No more extension on the PUVMP modernization. We really this (modernization) now.”)

Industry consolidation is one of the components of the PUVMP wherein the formation of transport cooperatives or other legal entities will entitle drivers and operators to benefits such as government subsidies and access to credit facilities, among others, to aid in modernizing their fleets and run the modernized units in a systematic and predictable manner.

The deadline for consolidation was on December 31, 2023 even as several transport groups, particularly operators of public utility jeepneys, had been asking for an extension.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2023-052, however, allowed unconsolidated individual operators in routes with less than 60% consolidated number of authorized units to operate until January 31, 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.

Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista in a separate statement said that consolidation of transport workers into a cooperative or corporation will help address traffic congestion in the metropolis as it will ensure efficient operations of public utility vehicles (PUV).

He explained: “Paiigtingin po natin ang implementasyon kahit ang consolidation lang muna. Magiging efficient po ang operations ng ating mga jeepneys dahil magkakaroon ng tamang fleet management, dispatch system dahil susundin po nila ang tamang standard upang masiguro na safe and comfortable ang experience ng ating mga pasahero.”

(“We will strictly implement even just the consolidation part. Operations of our jeepneys will be efficient because there will be fleet management, dispatch system; standards will be followed to ensure safe and comfortable experience for passengers.”)

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

As of 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.