Transport group says DOTr reverted P1.5B in subsidies to National Treasury
MANILA, Philippines — A transport group claimed that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) reverted P1.2 billion to the National Treasury, which was supposed to fund additional subsidies for drivers and operators affected by the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
According to 1 United Transport Alliance Koalisyon (1-UTAK) in a recent statement, its chairman Atty. Vigor Mendoza applied for the additional subsidy for the PUVMP in the central office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on February 17, 2023.
“However, they were informed that applications for additional subsidy are currently on hold because the funds were reverted back to the national government during the end of 2022,” the group said.
It can be recalled that the DOTr 2017 launched the PUVMP through DO No. 2017-011 of the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines.
The DOTr then issued another order for guidelines to avail of government subsidy to cover the equity required in purchasing new PUV units under the financing programs.
The said subsidy was only initially accessible through government financing programs like DBP and Land Bank, but in 2022, the DOTR allowed access to subsidies for financing programs and schemes of private banks and legitimate financing options
The funds will then be redownloaded from the national government, and operators will be informed through a subsequent LTFRB memorandum circular when applications can be accepted.
Inquirer.net has already sought the DOTr for a comment but has yet to respond as of posting.
Several transport groups are currently holding a week-long transport strike, starting March 6, in protest over the PUVMP, or the eventual phaseout of traditional jeepneys, which could lose thousands of drivers and operators of their livelihood.