LTFRB bares P5.58-B program for displaced PUV drivers
Drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUV) may now enter into transport service contracts with the government under a P5.58-billion program aimed at easing the impact of quarantine restrictions.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) released Memorandum Circular No. 2020-059, signed by LTFRB chair Martin Delgra on Oct. 8, which outlines the implementing guidelines for the program that will allow PUV drivers and operators in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao to render services to the government to meet the public demand for mass transportation.
Under the service contracting program, the government pays PUVs a fixed fee per day or per kilometer, and receives fare revenues from commuters under a service contract between the agency and drivers of PUVs, including passenger buses and passenger jeepneys.
Under the memorandum, only duly licensed professional drivers of authorized units in routes identified by the agency authorized by an existing PUV operator may qualify for the program.
The applicant’s PUV unit must be roadworthy and has a GPS (global positioning system) device for monitoring. The drivers, on the other hand, should not have any record of fatal road crashes or destruction to property over the last two years.
A technical working group within the LTFRB will be formed to implement the provisions of the program.
Transport and mobility advocacy group Move as One Coalition had earlier proposed to the government a P43.7-billion budget for the service contracting of 4,600 buses and 53,000 jeepneys and the delivery of free fare cards to three million Filipinos.
Move As One Coalition called this “a win-win solution,” where PUV operators receive stable income, while commuters receive stable service.
“One of our recommendations had always been additional government support, either through subsidy or service contracting, to help PUVs who are operating at a loss [during the pandemic],” Jedd Ugay, spokesperson for Move As One Coalition, said.
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