Still open for applications: LTFRB clarifies on circulating PUJ routes under modernization program

December 15, 2023 - 11:37 AM
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Photo shows a jeepney and its passengers (Walter Bollozos/The Philippine STAR)

The list of routes of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) posted by a transport group is not yet final under the modernization program.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) made this clarification on Wednesday, December 13. The LTFRB also posted a screenshot of a social media post showing the supposed list of PUJ routes.

In the screenshot, it was shown that the post came from transport group Manibela.

“Ang kumakalat na larawan o screenshot na makikita sa social media post ng isang transport group ay hindi listahan ng mga natatanging ruta sa bansa na sumailalim na sa consolidation, kundi listahan ng mga ruta kung saan maaari pang tanggapin ang aplikasyon para sa Industry Consolidation upang makahabol sa nakatakdang palugit ng pamahalaan sa darating na ika-31 ng Disyembre 2023,” LTFRB explained.

Manibela posted the sheet of routes on its Facebook account on December 13. It showed a database of the destinations PUJs take in Metro Manila and other provinces.

In the post, Manibela described the number of jeepney routes in the copy it obtained as few and inadequate.

It then slammed the government for its pressure to push through with the December 31 consolidation deadline under the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) despite public scrutiny.

The consolidation of jeepney franchises is one of the main requirements of the modernization program.

“Hacked??? Nakakuha tayo ng kopya sa lahat ng ruta sa buong pilipinas hindi ko napo ipo-post lahat, iilan lang pala talaga ang mga naka consolidate. Bakit pinag pipilitan ang consolidation na yan?” Manibela said.

“Ano ang hanap buhay na ipapalit nyo sa mga drivers at operators at ano ang sasakyan ng mga mananakay? Sana pinag-iisipan nyo,” the group also said.

The LTFRB, however, said that the government is still open to accepting “accepting” applications from jeepney drivers and operators who wanted to consolidate and form cooperatives.

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“Nangangahulugan lamang ito na nananatiling bukas ang mga nabanggit na ruta sa listahan para sa mga tsuper na interesadong sumali o bumuo ng isang kooperatiba o korporasyon, bilang unang hakbang sa pagpapatupad ng pamahalaan sa Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP),” the franchise regulator said.

“Kaugnay nito, pinapaalala ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) na mahalagang makapaghain na ng kanilang aplikasyon ang mga nais sumali sa programa habang nananatiling bukas ang pagtanggap dito hanggang sa katapusan ng Disyembre ngayong taon,” the government agency also said.

Piston members are currently holding a two-day transport strike to protest the PUVMP and remove the end-of-the-year deadline set by the national government.

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On the eve of the first day of their protest, Manibela joined in solidarity with their cause against the possible phaseout of traditional jeepneys.