THE Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with other government agencies, is offering assistance to drivers and operators affected by the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) to improve their livelihood.
In a press conference in Malacañang on Monday, January 15, 2024, DOTr- Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) chairman Jesus Ferdinand Ortega said among the programs being implemented by the DOTr are the “EnTSUPERneur” program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the “Tsuper Iskolar” of the Technical Education and Skills Development Program (Tesda).
“So, we’ve improved the program by instead of… I mean instead of, or puwede na ngayon i-avail and dalawang program ng gobyerno,” Ortega said.
“They could avail the program set by DOLE and by Tesda. These are for those that are affected, either driver of operator especially those that hindi nag-consolidate. So ‘yun ‘yung programs of the government for them,” he added.
The EnTSUPERneur program aims to provide working capital and business training to drivers, operators, as well as other members of the transportation sector affected by the PUVMP.
Aside from working capital and training, the DOTr and DOLE will also provide GSIS micro-insurance and business advisory and monitoring services to those who will avail themselves of the program.
They may choose among the following projects for their livelihood:
* Health and Wellness
* Eco-tourism (crafts, processed, food, services)
* Wholesale and Retail Trade
The “Tsuper Iskolar” program, on the other hand, provides for the training and social assistance for those affected under the PUVMP.
The DOTr transferred to Tesda P350 million for the implementation of this program.
Each scholar is entitled to free skills training and free skills assessment. They are also provided with free entrepreneurship training for Cluster of Competencies qualifications.
Despite criticisms and oppositions from the transportation sector especially the drivers and operators, the National Government is determined to continue the implementation of the PUVMP, which aims to replace traditional Filipino jeepneys with modern and environment friendly vehicles putting into high consideration and priority the safety of the riding public.
Under the PUVMP, PUVs are required to operate under a cooperative for the renewal of their provisional authorities, one of the most criticized provisions of the program.
The deadline for consolidation was on December 31 and those who failed to comply will already be considered colorum except in routes with no enough jeepneys or those without cooperatives at all where they are allowed to operate until January 31.
LTFRB Regional Director Zona Russet Tamayo said there would be sufficient public transport vehicles at least in Metro Manila, with 97.18 percent of the registered units of public utility jeeps already consolidated.
“Right now, as mentioned po ng ating chair sa MMDA, we have coordinated po with MMDA, as well as with different LGUs in case that there would be need. But right now po, we’ve mapped out for NCR and we already determined that there will be sufficient supply po,” Tamayo said.
“This we’re doing for January. And then, once po na nakita natin at mayroon na pong ilalabas na datos po ang LTFRB for that on the routes pertaining to the percentage of consolidation, then we’d move to the next stage, which is iyon hong hindi nag-consolidate will no longer be allowed to run the routes, except po if as we see, as we analyze po, there might be the need,” she added.
The LTFRB official said they will be assessing on the first part of January whether routes have attained 60 percent consolidation, have less than 60 percent, or no consolidation at all.
Earlier, the government said some 38,000 PUVs from across the country are yet to be consolidated. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)