June 19, 2024

Transportation News Daily

Daily Transportation News

Over 68,000 ‘no co-op’ PUVS may be deemed illegal jan. 1

4 min read

lmost 70,000 public utility vehicles (PUVs) nationwide which have failed to consolidate into transport cooperatives or corporations by the deadline of Dec. 31 will have their provisional authorities “deemed revoked” afterward, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said on Friday, adding that these PUVs will be operating in effect as “colorum” vehicles.

These vehicles refer to PUVs which operate without a provisional authority, special permit, or certificate of public convenience issued by the LTFRB. Without any such authorization, their operation on the roads is illegal.

On Thursday, the agency issued Memorandum Circular No. 2023-051, which serves as an official directive for consolidated transport entities to ply the roads under their existing provisional authority by Jan. 1, 2024.

Other PUVs, however, “shall not be confirmed for purposes of registration” by then, according to the circular, which also states that a show-cause order shall be issued to those vehicles found still operating by the new year. But the directive also states that PUVs with “filed application for consolidation on or before 31 December, 2023 shall continue to operate under their existing provisional authority.” This shall be valid until Dec. 31, 2024 or until a new certificate of public convenience is issued, the LTFRB said.

According to the LTFRB’s latest data, a total of 153,787 jeepneys, UV Express vans, mini buses, and public utility buses have consolidated as of November.

This translates to a consolidation rate of 70 percent out of the 222,617 PUV units — higher than the government’s 65 percent target before the end of the year.

But based on those figures, a total of 68,830 PUV units have not yet been included in cooperatives or corporations less than two weeks before the deadline.

Consolidation in the National Capital Region has remained the lowest at 26 percent—or 13,470 out of 51,984 PUV units. Of this, more than 30,000 were traditional jeepneys.

Other regions which failed to reach the target number of consolidated PUV units were Mimaropa (34 percent), Zamboanga Peninsula (37 percent), and Davao (49 percent).

Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) and other transport groups met with officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the LTFRB on Thursday, but they failed to resolve their disagreement over the franchise consolidation deadline.

The government, however, said it had eased some of the requirements for the consolidation of transport operators and drivers under its Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

Transportation Undersecretary and DOTr spokesperson Timothy John Batan said the requirements for consolidation are now limited to three documents—the PUV’s certificate of registration, a document from the cooperative indicating that the operator or driver is planning to join, and an attestation that they have joined such a cooperative.

Batan also said the LTFRB had issued a circular waiving the penalties for those who failed to submit their consolidation requirements in 2020, while the minimum number of units for consolidation was lowered from 15 to 10.

The LTFRB and the DOTr’s Office of Transportation Cooperatives will extend office hours on Dec. 31 to accommodate as many PUV operators and drivers during that deadline.

But transport groups were still adamantly opposed to it. Piston and Samahang Manibela Mananakay at Nagkaisang Terminal ng Transportasyon on Friday announced that they would launch another nationwide strike spanning 12 days, from Dec. 18 to Dec. 29, amid the holiday rush of the Christmas season.

“We challenge President Marcos to restudy his decision and issue an executive order scrapping the Dec. 31 deadline. When we are not allowed to go back to the roads, it is not just us who will lose our jobs by January. Many Filipinos will suffer,” Piston president Mody Floranda said.

He warned that “When this deadline is not junked, and we will not be allowed to service, there will be a transport crisis. This will have a serious effect on our economy, because how can there be economic activity if our workers cannot go to their workplaces?”

Mr. Marcos on Tuesday said there will no longer be an extension of the Dec. 31 deadline.

“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,” he said.

The President noted further that “We cannot let the minority cause further delays, affecting the majority of our operators, banks, financial institutions, and the public at large.”

The DOTr allayed fears of a transport crisis after the consolidation deadline lapses.

Batan said the LTFRB will issue special permits to consolidated operators of jeepneys to ensure that an adequate number of PUVs will be on the road starting Jan. 1.

Local government units also expressed willingness to offer free rides on affected routes

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1875975/68k-no-co-op-puvs-may-be-deemed-illegal-jan-1#ixzz8M5zbUKy3

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