Operators doubt they can meet 2020 deadline for PUV modernization

BEATING the June 2020 deadline to completely modernize all kinds of transport vehicles is difficult to achieve, an official of the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative (Citrasco) said.

Citrasco chairman Benjamin Ryan Yu said granting all transport cooperatives are ready to buy new vehicles following the specifications under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), the manufacturers are not ready to supply the number of units and specifications required.

Among the specifications for modern public utility vehicles (PUVs) are side doors instead of rear doors and Euro 4-type diesel emission, which aims to reduce pollution.

The PUVs must also have a dashboard camera, WiFi, Global Positioning System (GPS) and an automated fare collection system.

“We want to modernize. That’s the way to do it. But beating the deadline in June 2020 is hard,” Yu said. Citrasco has 600 PUV operators as members.

Earlier, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Bord (LTFRB) 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said the deadline for the complete modernization of transport vehicles is in June 2020.

In the modernization, Montealto said local government units (LGUs) are required to submit to the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) the Land Transportation Public Route Plan (LTPRP).

But Yu said the LGUs have not yet submitted their respective LTPRP to assure transport operators of their routes.

He said this might take time as most officials of LGUs are new and only assumed office last July 1.

Yu also noted that the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines have only a little more than P1 billion combined to finance the transport modernization, which is not enough considering that vehicles are priced at P1.8 to P3 million per unit.

He said the fares will also be higher than the current minimum fare of P8 because of the huge investment involved. (EOB)


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