Extended again: LTFRB says new deadline for traditional jeepney phaseout is Dec 31
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday announced that it once again extended the deadline for traditional jeepney franchise holders to consolidate or join existing cooperatives. The new deadline is December 31.
“Alinsunod sa advice ng ating kalihim Jaime Bautista, at pahayag ni Pangulong Bongbong Marcos, ine-extend po namin ‘yung consolidation po ng mga [traditional] jeepneys from June 30 to the end of December 2023,” said LTFRB chair Teofilo Guadiz III in a press briefing.
(According to the advice of our Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and the statement of President Bongbong Marcos, we are extending the consolidation of traditional jeepneys from June 30 to the end of December 2023,)
“Ito [rin] po ay bilang pagtugon sa kahilingan po ng transport sector,” he also said, adding that their move is likewise their response to the call of a Senate resolution.
(This is also in response to the request of the transport sector.)
Initially, the franchises for traditional jeepneys across the country were to expire by the end of this month, except for Metro Manila which was until the end of April. But on February 23, the LTFRB changed this deadline to June 30 in accordance with the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.
Transport group Manibela, however, is protesting and announced their staging of a week-long strike from March 6.
But Guadiz said their decision to further extend the deadline for the traditional jeepney phaseout to December 31 this year was not due to pressure because of the transport strike.
“To be honest, there is no pressure for us from the strike because more than 90 percent of transport groups have signified their support for the program of the LTFRB,” he said.
“However, in deference to the Senate resolution of Senator Grace Poe and to the request of [Secretary Bautista], we will be extending the deadline to allow the transport sector more time to consolidate,” he added.
The LTFRB chair said a memorandum circular would be issued to extend the traditional jeepney phaseout deadline officially.
On Thursday, Bautista issued a statement saying that he ordered the LTFRB to “relax” the requirements for the PUVMP.
“We are willing to bend backward, suggesting to the board of LTFRB to relax the requirements to enable drivers to [adapt] to the program,” Bautista said.
“We even offered to dialogue with drivers associations displeased with the PUVMP to explore how they can be accommodated into the program,” he pointed out. Bautista, however, did not specify which requirements he was referring to, but the LTFRB told Inquirer.net that this is the same order that moved the LTFRB to extend the deadline until Dec. 31.