Bacolod mayor backs balanced implementation of PUV modernization

PUVMP PHASED IMPLEMENTATION. Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (at the head of the table), joined by concerned department heads, meets with traditional jeep operators at the Mayor’s Office on Jan. 4, 2024.
PUVMP PHASED IMPLEMENTATION. Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (at the head of the table), joined by concerned department heads, meets with traditional jeep operators at the Mayor’s Office on Jan. 4, 2024. Bacolod PIO photo

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has expressed support for the balanced implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) amid the extension of authority to operate granted to unconsolidated operators until Jan. 31.

Benitez issued the statement on Thursday after a series of meetings with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and local operators since last week.

“I assure you of our unwavering commitment to a phased implementation of the PUVMP. This extension aims to balance the modernization program’s requirements with the practical concerns of our local operators. I appreciate your understanding and cooperation in working towards a modern and efficient public transportation system,” he told the operators.

Data showed that as of the start of January, only 23 percent or 540 of the 2,313 traditional jeepneys here have consolidated into either a cooperative or a corporation, the first step of the modernization program.

Benitez said the extension granted by the LTFRB, through Board Resolution No. 2, series of 2024, dated Jan. 8, allows for a smooth transition considering the logistical challenges in finalizing the routes that fall under the number of authorized units.

He said operators must ensure their units are registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and possess valid personal passenger accident insurance coverage.

Benitez earlier said the city government forwarded the concerns of traditional jeepney operators to the Department of Transportation.

“In the meantime, we recommend operators to proceed with plans to meet the requirements under the jeepney modernization plan. We are in discussions with LTO and LTFRB to ensure a smooth process for operators adhering to the guidelines,” he added. (PNA)

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