UNCONSOLIDATED public utility vehicles (PUV) in the country are allowed to operate until April 30, 2024, as long as they are registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III announced this on Thursday, February 1, 2023, citing Memorandum Circular (MC) 2024-001.
The memorandum, dated January 30, 2024, issued the consolidation guidelines during the period of extension. It also granted provisional authority to unconsolidated individual operators to operate until the extension of the consolidation deadline on April 30.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier approved the recommendation of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to grant a three-month extension for the Industry Consolidation Component of the Public Transport Modernization Program.
"The authority to operate the units of all unconsolidated individual operators is extended until 30 April 2024, provided the unit is currently registered with the Land Transportation Office and has a valid Personal Passenger Accident Insurance Coverage," the three-page memo stated.
"Confirmation of units of unconsolidated individual operators may be allowed until April 30, 2024. The said units are allowed to ply the route as PUV only within the said period," it added.
The memorandum also set guidelines for filing of application for consolidation, reiterating that all applications for consolidation shall comply with the documentary requirements and procedures provided in the MC 2023-050.
The LTFRB said that for routes covered by the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP), consolidation is allowed on existing rationalized routes with no consolidated entity as of December 31, 2023.
For routes not yet covered by LPTRP or route rationalization, consolidation is allowed if the number of unconsolidated units in a particular route is at least 40 percent of the total number of authorized units (NAU).
The consolidated entities on the said route must comply with a common fleet management to ensure organized dispatch of units and avoid cut-throat competition between them, the LTFRB added.
If the number of unconsolidated units is below 40 percent of the total NAU, consolidation shall not be allowed.
But the LTFRB stressed that the unconsolidated individual operators may join existing Transport Service Entity (TSEs) on the route subject to the conformity of the latter.
For routes with NAU of less than 15 units, consolidation shall be allowed if the application for consolidation covers at least the majority of the existing NAU on the said route.
“For this purpose, those individual operators whose application for consolidation was limited by prior issuances of the Board restricting the number of units to at least 15 units, may now be allowed to form their own TSE or join any existing TSEs in overlapping routes until April 30, 2024, with the latter's conformity,” the LTFRB added. (LMY)