Unconsolidated TPUJ drivers maximize post-April 30 deadline

CEBU. Members of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) in Cebu staged a protest rally in front of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 office in Cebu City on Monday, April 15, 2024.
CEBU. Members of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) in Cebu staged a protest rally in front of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7 office in Cebu City on Monday, April 15, 2024. File Photo/EHP

DRIVERS and operators of traditional jeepneys in Cebu, who have not joined cooperatives or corporations as required by the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), are still on the streets after the April 30, 2024, consolidation deadline set by the national government.

A leader of a local transport group in Cebu expressed hope for the Supreme Court (SC) to rule against the implementation of the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) PUVMP.

Greg Perez, leader of the 500-member Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) Cebu, said they would persist in operating their traditional public utility jeepneys (TPUJs) after Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III, in an April 21 radio interview, said that unconsolidated jeepneys have until mid-May before facing crackdowns.

“Karon padayon gihapon kay bisan ang LTFRB has released a statement that they will start apprehending those ‘colorum’ operating starting mid-May,” Perez said in an interview on Thursday, May 2.

(We will continue to operate since the LTFRB has released a statement that they will start apprehending those ‘colorum’ or vehicles operating without proper permits starting mid-May.)

The LTFRB, however, has yet to release a memorandum circular outlining the specifics of what will happen to unconsolidated PUJs.

Perez added that their counterparts in Metro Manila and other parts of the country are also operating.

‘Due process’

Before the deadline on Tuesday, several national news outlets reported that Guadiz said they will give unconsolidated jeepneys a 15-day leeway to still ply their routes before the government starts impounding their vehicles.

“Initially, during the first 15 days, sawayin muna ‘yung mga tao, bigyan ng reminder. Hindi naman po kaagad-agad,” Guadiz said in a radio interview.

(Initially, during the first 15 days, people will be warned and reminded. Apprehension won’t be immediate.)

Meanwhile, in a SunStar report on April 30, DOTr Undersecretary Ferdinand Ortega assured “due process” for those who will not be able to comply with the consolidation policy.

Earlier, LTFRB 7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. said unconsolidated TPUJ units were deemed colorum after the deadline.

He said the LTFRB, along with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Highway Patrol Group, would apprehend the drivers of these units.

A representative from the LTO 7 told SunStar that operators of colorum jeepney vehicles will face a fine of P50,000 and a minimum impounding period of three months for the unit, in accordance with the LTFRB and LTO’s Joint Administrative Order 2014-01.

Meanwhile, SunStar Cebu has tried to get the number of consolidated traditional jeepney units in the region but to no avail. The latest update from the LTFRB 7 indicates that the consolidation rate in the region stands at 89 percent, but specific figures are not available.

SC petition

Perez said they will continue their campaign against the PUVMP and ask the SC to fully scrap the program.

Last April 29, transport groups in Metro Manila submitted a supplemental petition urging the SC anew to issue a temporary restraining order against the PUVMP’s implementation.

The SC, in March, denied the petition for certiorari and prohibition seeking to nullify the PUVMP filed by Bayyo Association Inc. and its president, Anselmo Perweg, for lack of legal standing and violation of the principle of hierarchy of courts.

Meanwhile, Perez said they are urging the government to bring back the five-year franchise for traditional jeepney operators in the country.

Piston Cebu members also marched in the streets during the Labor Day rally in the city last Wednesday, May 1, together with several labor and progressive militant groups. (KJF)

Trending

No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.
www.sunstar.com.ph