Bacolod City prepares contingency plan for PUV consolidation deadline

Modernized jeepneys of the Philippine Black Hawk Auto Corporation.
Modernized jeepneys of the Philippine Black Hawk Auto Corporation. PNA FILE PHOTO

BACOLOD CITY – Consolidated transport groups here assured the city government that all their units registered with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) through provisional authorities would be deployed in case non-consolidated groups hold a strike after the April 30 deadline.

The city government will also dispatch all available vehicles to assist commuters.

These are among the contingency plans agreed upon during the city government’s meeting with transport operators on Monday, City Administrator Lucille Gelvolea said in a press conference.

“They assured us they would help the city government. On the part of the city government, we have already instructed all (city-owned) units to be on standby. We are coordinating with barangay captains that if ever there are stranded commuters from their respective barangays they will also deploy service vehicles,” Gelvolea said.

Gelvolea said there are still groups trying to beat the deadline for consolidation.

“We hope that other than those already approved by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, there will be other groups that will be issued provisional authorities,” she said.

At least two of the major operators and drivers’ associations and operators of modern jeepneys here are not participating in the transport strike organized by groups protesting the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Traditional jeepneys have to consolidate into either a cooperative or a corporation, which is the first step of the modernization program, to access business financing in acquiring modern units.

Failure to meet the consolidation deadline would result in the revocation of franchises of non-compliant operators, preventing them from operating.

In Bacolod, the Local Public Transport Route Plan has originally identified 24 routes, with a total allocation of 1,099 modern jeepney units under the PUVMP.

Some 1,000 traditional jeepneys have applied for consolidation, but about 2,500 PUV units are still needed, based on the simulation exercise conducted last year.

“We are organizing other groups for extension, new and developmental routes,” Gelvolea said. (PNA)

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