LTFRB to allow unconsolidated PUVs in selected routes to continue operation after December 31
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LTFRB to allow unconsolidated PUVs in selected routes to continue operation after December 31

THE Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has allowed public utility vehicles (PUV) operators and drivers in selected routes to continue their operations despite not being able to comply with the mandatory consolidation requirement, which is part of the PUV Modernization Program.

Under Memorandum Circular no. 2023-052, in order to ensure adequate supply of public transport, PUVs without consolidated transport service entity (TSE) will be allowed to operate until January 31, 2024.

It includes public utility jeepneys, Filcab, and UV Express in routes covered by approved Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP); routes with no approved LPTR, Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Study Update and Capacity Enhancement Program (MUCEP) study; routes without consolidated transport services entity/ies and new/ developmental/ missionary routes.

The LTFRB, however, said they will issue show cause orders to unconsolidated individual operators in compliance with the provision of the Public Service Act.

“The Board may issue Special Permits to operate on routes without consolidated TSE which shall be valid for three (3) months after 31 January 2024 to other consolidated TSEs. In no case shall the consolidated TSEs that elect to operate on routes without consolidated TSE reduce its operation to more than 60 percent of its NAU (number of authorized units) on its original route,” the memorandum reads.

The LTFRB earlier said that 30 percent of traditional jeepneys across the country have yet to be consolidated. The deadline for consolidation was set on December 31.

The Department of Transportation earlier said those who fail to comply with the mandatory consolidation requirement will be considered colorum.

Under the newest LTFRB memorandum, routes with consolidated TSEs shall retain franchise privileges on the routes they are currently plying and shall continue to operate under their existing provisional authorities until December 2024 or upon the issuance of a certificate of public convenience (CPCs), whichever comes first.

“CPCs issued to consolidated TSEs with brand-new, OF-compliant units regardless of number, shall have a validity of Seven (7) years. Thus, MC No. 2020-044 is hereby modified. CPCs issued to consolidated TSEs without brand-new, OFG-compliant units shall have a validity of Five (5) years,” it said.

“All unconsolidated individual operators who failed to file application for consolidation prior to 31 December 2023 shall no longer be allowed to organize into a juridical entity or join existing consolidated TSEs,” it added.

The PUVMP aims to replace old and traditional jeepneys with modern and environment-friendly units to ensure the safety of the passengers.

The Office of the Transport Cooperatives will open on Sunday, December 31 to accommodate PUV operators processing their consolidation requirements. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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