Address potential income loss in PUV modernization, gov't urged

CHR asks gov’t to address likely income loss in PUV modernization

/ 10:55 AM January 12, 2024

The government is being asked to address the potential income loss that the PUV modernization program may cause to drivers and operators.

FILE PHOTO: A streamer at a terminal for jeepneys plying the Paco-Rotunda Nagtahan route in Manila expresses the unyielding position of the local transport association about the government’s modernization program for public utility vehicles in this photo taken on Tuesday, January 2, 2024. INQUIRER / RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday appealed to the government to address the potential income loss that its controversial Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) modernization program may cause to drivers and operators.

The constitutional body said it supports the government’s effort to make PUVs “[safer] and environment friendly” but stressed the importance of “inclusive” progress.


“Given the economic and financial implications of [the] PUV modernization program, the majority of the program’s financial burden will fall on drivers and operators. It is worth noting that the vast majority of PUV operators are from the vulnerable sector. Adhering strictly to rigid consolidation deadlines may jeopardize PUV operators’ right to a sustainable livelihood,” the CHR said in a statement.


READ: PUV modernization: Understanding defiance of operators, drivers

It also said that the consequences of the PUV modernization program would affect drivers and commuters.

“The suspension of franchise issuances for traditional jeepneys has led to challenges in maintaining a sufficient supply and reliability of public transportation services that led to disruptions in the daily commute for the general public,” it added.

READ: Piston to SC: Stop gov’t orders for jeepney upgrade, Dec 31 deadline

Citing the International Labor Organization Convention 87, the CHR said workers have the right to “join organizations of their own choosing without prior authorization.”

“Needless to say, participating in a cooperative should be a voluntary decision,” it pointed out.


The CHR stressed that the PUV modernization program should be pursued without violating fundamental human rights.

READ: LTFRB: ‘Unconsolidated’ PUVs allowed until Jan. 31

“This includes avoiding financial difficulties for small transportation operators and protecting the livelihoods of the numerous drivers involved. The potential consequences, such as pushing these drivers and their families into poverty, highlight the need for a balanced and considerate approach in implementing modernization efforts to ensure they align with wider societal welfare,” it noted.

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“[We] need to take appropriate steps to address the issue of potential income loss among affected operators. It is [also] the State’s responsibility to efficiently subsidize the program, develop an effective communication strategy for the general public, and make the implementing rules and regulations of the PUV modernization program more understandable,” it added.

TAGS: Commission on Human Rights, PUV modernization program, Transport

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