‘Enough’ plying units for riding public in Central Visayas

File photo
File photo

DESPITE the remaining unconsolidated public utility vehicles and ongoing loan applications to acquire modern public utility vehicles (MPUVs) in Central Visayas, the region has enough plying units.

Eduardo Montealto Jr., regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 7, in a phone interview on Thursday, June 6, 2024, described the current fleet of public transportation in the region as a mix of consolidated MPUVs and traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs).

“Mix na siya, ang consolidation natu kay modern ug traditional. Naa gihapon ang traditional pero kadtung consolidated (This is a mix of consolidated modern and traditional. The traditional one is still there but already consolidated),” Montealto said.

Of the 8,000 modern and traditional jeepneys that have already been consolidated under the national government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, 3,600 are consolidated traditional vehicles and 1,400 are modern vehicles that are plying in Central Visayas.

In the region, Montealto said that Cebu province has the most consolidated units, though he did not specify the figure.

“Enough oy, dili lang mana sila atong vehicles, kay naa pay taxi, UV Express, Grab, JoyRide (It’s very enough, in fact, it’s not just the PUJ that are plying),” said Montealto.

Montealto said that with the 8,000 consolidated units, they are following the number of authorized units from October 2023.

He said, “94 percent na ang atong consolidation rate, around 8,000 units...6,600 ang ongoing ang application sa loan sa bangko to avail MPUV, ang unconsolidated anang 94% kay 660 units (Our consolidation rate is 94 percent, around 8,000 units...there are 6,600 ongoing applications for a bank loan to avail MPUV, the unconsolidated from the 94% is 660 units),” said Montealto.

Montealto also said that the Office of Transport Cooperative has recorded around 65 cooperatives and corporations. This is a smaller number compared to their previous number, which was 69 after some of them merged.

Meanwhile, the LTFRB 7 continues with its monitoring of the unconsolidated units that are operating, as they are supporting the anti-colorum campaign of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

No competition

Montealto stressed that there is no competition for routes between MPUVs and TPUJs.

“Dili, kay ang purpose man gud ni karun nag-individual operators pa ni sila (No, the purpose of this is that they are operating individually),” he said.

Earlier, a transport cooperative claimed that their operation is still affected by some TPUJ drivers and operators who have already consolidated and still choose to ply on their usual routes and compete with MPUVs for passengers on the road.

Loan

The LTFRB and state-run banks, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Development Bank of the Philippines, are granting loans to public utility vehicle operators so they can modernize their units.

Montealto said that after consolidation, they are giving 27 months for operators to refleet.

LTFRB referred refleeting as to the total replacement of the traditional vehicles.

The LTFRB 7 is also waiting for the Local Public Transport Route Plan of the local government units.

The role of LPTRP is to navigate the vehicles that will ply in a municipality or city. / CDF

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