Transport groups ask Benitez to assist them with consolidation

POWER SUPPLY CONCERNS. Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, in a press conference on Monday (Jan. 8, 2024), confirms the plan to conduct a power summit for Negros Island to ensure sufficient power supply for the city and the province of Negros Occidental. “We really have a surplus in power supply in Negros Island. If we can harness first locally-produced power for our own consumption, we will not have to rely on supply elsewhere,” he said.
POWER SUPPLY CONCERNS. Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, in a press conference on Monday (Jan. 8, 2024), confirms the plan to conduct a power summit for Negros Island to ensure sufficient power supply for the city and the province of Negros Occidental. “We really have a surplus in power supply in Negros Island. If we can harness first locally-produced power for our own consumption, we will not have to rely on supply elsewhere,” he said. PNA PHOTO

The transport groups in Bacolod City appealed to Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez to help the unconsolidated traditional public utility jeepney drivers in the city.

Junjun Asis, secretary-general of Sentrong Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Negros (SSTONE), said Friday, May 3, of at least 1,463 members of SSTONE and Federation of Bacolod Drivers Association (Febacda), only 153 of them were able to join the consolidation before its deadline on April 30.

He said they were able to form Asenso Bacolod Transport Cooperative (ABTrac), which is composed of 153 operators plying 17 routes in Bacolod.

He added that they will ask the assistance of Benitez to accommodate those who were not able to meet the deadline of the consolidation.

The ABTrac was chaired by Asis with his co-chairperson, Elizabeth Katalbas.

Asis noted that they will set a meeting with the mayor to discuss their concern regarding the public utility jeepney consolidation including the processing of various provisional authorities (PA) with the Land Transportation and Franchising Board (LTFRB) and for the extension of the processing of the remaining route who were not able to consolidate on April 30.

Asis said that some of their members' documents were incomplete and their applications were rejected by the LTFRB.

“We will appeal it to the mayor to accommodate them since we already formed a cooperative and we were given until May 16, 2024 to operate,” he said.

After May 16, he added that there will be an apprehension of the traditional public utility vehicles who fails to process for consolidation.

Benitez earlier said that the local unconsolidated traditional jeepneys with valid franchises be allowed to apply for a Provisional Authority (PA) with the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

"As far as the local is concerned, I have expressed our suggestion to the DOTr that all local traditional jeepneys with a franchise and not consolidated can still apply for a PA," he said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier announced that the government will not grant another deadline extension for franchise consolidation under the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

He said the traditional jeepney drivers have only until April 30 to form cooperatives or corporations for them to be allowed to operate.*

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