PUV modernization to push through

SunStar File

THE deadline to completely modernize public utility vehicles is still June 2020 despite apprehensions and concerns by some sectors, an official disclosed Friday, August 23, 2019.

Francis Almora, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Cordillera regional director, reiterated this in a meeting with UV express operators and drivers on August 23.

“While we have this problem, it will not stop the program,” Almora said.

"The model needed for UV express is not what we are using now. Doon po sa DOTr, Usec. Mark De Leon understand that there are efforts. They also know Cordillera and Baguio are very different from other cities, but then can we make a law that exempt Baguio?” he added.

DOTr earlier issued Department Order No. 2017-011 or the Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance or the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, a flagship program of the Duterte administration which envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector.

The group of UV express led by Rey Bacoco said the Cordillera van federation could not replace their 400 units yet because there are no available Class 3 units, the standard stipulated in the modernization program.

“Hindi na puwede iyong ginagamit naming vans. It should be class 3. Big question is the availability of the units. Kung pupunta ka sa planta, wala pang prepared na class 3 na puwedeng gamitin to substitute the previous units,” he added.

“Tinitignan natin tugma ba iyong modernize na magagamit sa Cordillera, maybe it is possible to lowland, but we have to see to it that it is fit for Cordillera. What we are seeking to DOTr is to review the conditions of this vehicle in the Cordillera,” Bacoco quipped.

Bacoco added the dialogue between the DOTr and the public transport sector on Friday and with the pronouncement of Almora, it is clear that modernization program will push through and the transport sector needs to be prepared.

The federation has routes traversing Baguio-Lepanto, Baguio-Mankayan and to Ilocos region.

Under the PUV modernization program, it devolved the function of route planning to the local government units (LGUs) as they are more versed in the terrain and passenger demand within their respective territorial jurisdiction.

The LGUs were required under the program to submit own Local Public Transport Plan as a pre-requisite for the opening of PUV franchises within their jurisdiction.

The PUVs must also have wireless internet connection, dashboard camera, Global Positioning System (GPS) and automated fare collection system.


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