DOTr: Unconsolidated PUVs to be given due process before franchise revocation

DOTr: Unconsolidated PUVs to be given 
due process before franchise revocation
File photo

OPERATORS and drivers who fail to comply with the consolidation policy under the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) still have a week or two before their franchises finally get revoked by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

In a television interview, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Ferdinand Ortega assured “due process” to those who will not be able to comply with the policy.

The deadline was Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

“Bibigyan pa ‘yan ng show cause, sasagot pa sila (They will still be given a show cause, and they still have to answer),” he said.

“So it will take a few days, maybe a week or two, para sila ay finally masasabihan o mabibigyan ng information na sila ay wala nang prangkisa at sila ay hindi na pwede pumasada (that they will be finally told or given information that they no longer have a franchise and that they can no longer operate),” he added.

Ortega maintained that the consolidation deadline was final. The consolidation deadline has been extended eight times since 2017.

The DOTr extended the deadline as it aims to increase consolidation figures to 85 percent; as of January this year, only around 67 percent of PUVs, UV Express units, public utility buses and mini-buses in the country had undergone consolidation.

As of March 2024, the LTFRB said that 80 percent of the PUVs in the country have already complied with the consolidation policy.

Meanwhile, Ortega urged unconsolidated drivers and operators to cease operations due to a lack of proper documentation, warning that continuing to operate may result in fines and the impounding of their vehicles.

Central Visayas

Meanwhile, LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said they will strictly run after colorum or unconsolidated jeepney units that will still operate on Wednesday, May 1.

He said the LTFRB 7 will join the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas and the Highway Patrol Group in apprehending drivers of colorum units.

However, Montealto said they might not fully implement checkpoint inspections on Wednesday due to the Labor Day holiday.

Additionally, he said that the current regional consolidation rate stands at 89 percent, but he was not able to provide specific numbers.

He said they would still sort their data after the deadline to come up with specific figures.

Montealto added that the remaining unconsolidated units are operated by drivers who are either no longer interested in joining cooperatives or corporations or whose units are no longer operational.

PUVMP

The PUVMP was launched during the administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte to replace the traditional jeepneys with modern units that have at least a Euro 4-compliant engine or an electric engine to lessen pollution.

Under the program, drivers or operators will receive a government subsidy for the acquisition of PUVs, which is between P200,000 and P300,000 per vehicle, to help them cope financially. Each vehicle costs around P1.5 to P2.7 million.

They will also be assisted in bank financing transactions.

Two petitions seeking to call off the implementation of the PUVMP are still pending before the Supreme Court, both of which were filed by Piston and other transport groups. / TPM, KJF

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