Transport chief clarifies: No ‘Libreng Sakay’ yet
There will be no early Christmas gift of free rides on buses and jeepneys for commuters.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista clarified on Friday that the government’s “Libreng Sakay” program will not resume next month.
Instead, Bautista said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) plans to offer fare discounts so more commuters would benefit.
“[Instead of service contracting], we can give discounts to our passengers, and give subsidies to drivers and operators,” he told reporters on Friday.
Sought for comment, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said “the DOTr and the LTFRB are still studying the guidelines of the service contracting program.”
Under the program, operators and drivers who participate will receive a one-time payout and weekly payments based on kilometers traveled per week, with or without passengers.
Operators of public utility vehicles will be contracted via an agreement based on a plan prepared by the LTFRB.
It was first launched in 2020 and was meant to help the public during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing free transportation. It had served a total of 80.8 million passengers since the launch in 2020.