Gov’t is using ‘valid police power’ in PUV franchise consolidation

OSG to SC: Gov’t is using ‘valid police power’ in PUV franchise consolidation

/ 05:18 PM January 16, 2024

OSG to SC: Gov’t is using ‘valid police power’ in PUV franchise consolidation

Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra. (File image screengrabbed from RTVM)

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) asked Supreme Court (SC) to dismiss the petition filed by Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston).

They cited lack of merit as the reason for the plea.


The request was made through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).


Piston’s petition had challenged the legality of government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), which mandates the consolidation of jeepney franchises.

The group had asked SC to issue a preliminary injunction.

It argued that government’s various directives and issuances on PUVMP violate their constitutional right to freedom of association and the voluntary nature of cooperatives.

Piston cited Republic Act Number 9250 as basis.

The group contended the orders are excessively broad, compelling drivers and operators to join organizations or cooperatives.

The petitioner asserted the directives are oppressive, overreaching, and confiscatory.


Piston also said the orders are negatively affecting the livelihoods of drivers, operators and commuters.

In a 65-page comment submitted to SC by Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra, he said the petition of Piston should also be dismissed outright based on procedural grounds.

Guevarra believes the transport group failed to follow the hierarchy of courts.

He said the petition should first be initially filed with the lower courts, stressing that SC should be the “last court of resort.”

“The doctrine of the hierarchy of courts is a practical judicial policy designed to restrain parties from directly resorting to this Honorable Court when relief may be obtained from lower courts,” OSG stated.

Furthermore, it added the petition also lacks the necessary requisites for judicial review.

These requisites are the absence of an actual case or controversy, lack of legal standing, and delay in raising constitutional questions.

On the supposedly illegal issuances of DOTr and LTFRB on the franchise consolidation, Guevarra said their actions constitute a valid exercise of police power.

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He told the justices that these policies are necessary to solve the current disintegration and inefficiency in the country’s public transportation system.

The document of OSG was submitted to SC on January 5 and was released to media on Tuesday.

TAGS: jeepneys, Modernization, OSG, PUVMP

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