No extension for December 31 deadline for PUV consolidation

CEBU. Some of the traditional jeepneys plying Metro Cebu.
CEBU. Some of the traditional jeepneys plying Metro Cebu.File photo

THE December 31, 2023 deadline for the consolidation of public utility vehicles (PUVs) operators will stay and no extension will be given, said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.

Marcos announced this in a post on X (formerly Twitter), saying the decision was made following his meeting with transport officials.

"Today, we held a meeting with transport officials, and it was decided that the deadline for the consolidation of public utility vehicles (PUV) operators will not be extended," he said.

He added that at present, 70 percent of PUV operators in the country "have already committed to and consolidated under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP)."

"We cannot let the minority cause further delays and affect the majority of the operators, banks, financial institutions, and the public at large," Marcos said.

The PUV Modernization Program was launched on June 19, 2017. It aims to replace old and traditional jeepneys with higher-quality, environmentally friendly vehicles that have greater capacity.

Several transport groups, however, have opposed the PUV consolidation, with the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) saying it will eventually result in a total jeepney phaseout.

Piston Cebu president Greg Perez said earlier that transport operators will eventually be forced to give up their individual franchises and vehicles in exchange for buying the expensive, non-sustainable and frail vehicles.

He said that around 200 driver and operator members of Piston-Cebu and other traditional jeepney drivers and operators plying Metro Cebu, for instance, will be affected.

Each unit of the modern vehicles would reportedly cost over P2 million.

But Marcos assured transport groups on Tuesday, December 12, that the PUV modernization program of the government will not be an additional burden to the operators and drivers.

"Adhering to the current timeline ensures that everyone can reap the benefits of the full operationalization of our modernized public transport system. Hence, the scheduled timeline will not be moved," Marcos said.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said earlier that failure to meet the December 31 deadline does not mean that PUV drivers and operators will immediately lose their franchise to operate, but the grace period will be limited. (LMY)

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