LTFRB-Davao: 86% of PUJs, 93% of vans already formed into cooperatives

LTFRB-Davao: 86% of PUJs, 93% of vans already formed into cooperatives
Macky Lim/SunStar File Photo

An official from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-Davao Region (LTFRB-Davao) said that since April 30, the deadline for consolidating public utility vehicles (PUV), around 630 public utility jeepneys (PUJ) units in the region have joined cooperatives. 

Nonito Llanos, regional director of LTFRB-Davao, said in a radio interview on Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) on May 3, 2024 that the number of PUJs in the region that have consolidated reached 629 or 86 percent out of the 733 PUJs. In contrast, out of the 592 units, 549 UVE have already consolidated, or 93 percent and 823 out of the 846 Public Utility Buses (PUB) units or 97 have already consolidated.

“So medyo taas atoang rating, pag muingon pud ta og rota, sa rota sa jeepney nga adunay 62 ka rota sa gawas ug sulod sa Davao out of the 62, 52 were consolidated and that is 84 percent and for the UV for the routes, 22 routes, we also have 22 routes consolidated so meaning to say 100 percent,” he said.

(So our rating is high. If we talk about routes, in jeepneys, there are 62 routes inside and outside Davao; out of the 62, 52 were consolidated, and that is 84 percent; and for the UV which has 22 routes, we have 22 routes also consolidated, or 100 percent).

Llanos added that LTFRB would revoke the franchise of non-compliant PUVs following the central office's mandate. However, the non-compliant PUJ drivers would be given a 15-day leeway and advised to follow the government's directives for the modernization project.

He expressed that after the 15-day leeway, they would no longer be allowed to traverse and pick up passengers; otherwise, they would be considered colorum. The non-compliant PUJ drivers would be penalized and fined, and their units would be impounded. 

“Hopefully within the next 15 days maghinay-hinay na ug wrap-up and transition ang atoang mga individual operators (Hopefully within the 15 days they will slowly wrap-up and transition our individual operators),” he said. 

Llanos emphasized that with PUV modernization, PUJs or PUVs can still operate.

He said the modernization program has ten steps, and the consolidation is only the first step. He added that operators are given ample time to prepare for the modernization. 

The regional director explained that, unlike the other areas in the region, the April 30 deadline does not apply to Davao City. He stressed that this is because of the Davao Public Transport Modernization Program (DPTMP), or the Davao Bus Project. Once this is implemented, the remaining PUJs in the city will cease their operations. The remaining PUJs and PUVs traversing Davao City will no longer be given a franchise but a provisionary authority until the bus project is operational. 

Meanwhile, Davao-based transport groups Transmission-Piston expressed on May 1, 2024, concerns during their Labor Day Rally at Freedom Park, Roxas Avenue, Davao City, over the deadline for the consolidation of the modernization project and the Davao Bus Project.

Larry Arguelles, Transmission-Piston spokesperson, said that the modernization program would burden drivers and commuters by rising fares. He added that the Davao Bus Project should be abolished since it is a local government anti-poor program. He also called on authorities to bring back the five-year validity of franchises. 

“Mga kaubanan nakong drayber inihap na lang atoang mga adlaw nga ilisan atoang mga sakyanan ug bus kay tungod mao kini ang programa ug proyekto sa atoang lokal nga panggamhanan (My fellow drivers, our days are already numbered, our units would be replaced with buses because this is the project of our local government unit),” he said.

Under the government's PUV modernization initiative, drivers and transport operators must organize into corporations or cooperatives to access financing facilities and governmental incentives for updating their fleets and running the upgraded vehicles methodically and predictably. RGP

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