Baguio council to LTFRB: Extend life of PUVs up for phaseout | Inquirer News

Baguio council to LTFRB: Extend life of PUVs up for phaseout

/ 04:30 AM January 24, 2024

STILL KINGS OF THE ROAD Traditional jeepney remains the top mode of transportation in Baguio City, shown in this photo in September last year. —NEIL CLARK ONGCHANGCO

STILL KINGS OF THE ROAD | The traditional jeepney remains the top mode of transportation in Baguio City, as shown in this photo taken in September 2023. (File photo by NEIL CLARK ONGCHANGCO / Inquirer Northern Luzon)

BAGUIO CITY, Benguet, Philippines — The city council on Monday urged transport authorities to maintain a status quo for local owners of public utility vehicles (PUVs), or passenger jeepneys, who missed the final Jan. 31 deadline for converting to small energy-efficient buses to prevent a possible mass transport crisis by February.

In a resolution passed unanimously during the session, the council said owners of traditional PUVs in the city should continue to be granted the provisional authority to operate—for as long as a year—until basic issues about the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) are resolved.


Councilor Benny Bomogao said both the city and the national governments should add more incentives so more jeepney operators would consolidate into fleets or cooperatives and replace their units with environment-friendly small buses.


This is in light of the P2.4-million to P2.8-million price tag for a “modern jeepney,” which most operators could barely afford, said Bomogao, chair of the committee on transportation.

Losing franchise

Bomogao proposed local tax holidays for Baguio operators who agree to form corporations or transport cooperatives, as an incentive for them to embrace the PUV modernization.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) had given operators until Jan. 31 to consolidate into transport fleets, the first step in the process of replacing traditional jeepneys with small buses designed for inner city streets.

According to the LTFRB, this was the final deadline after the government continued extending the three-year transitional period for PUV modernization, which should have lapsed in 2020.Those who fail to organize into fleets would lose their individual PUV franchises once they return to the streets on Feb. 3, Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan noted.

To prepare the city, the council also requested the LTFRB supply it with data as to how many PUVs serving Baguio have consolidated and how many run the risk of being arrested for operating as colorum vehicles on Feb. 3.

It also asked transport agencies to keep the doors open for organizations that have not heeded the deadline because they could not comply with the financial requirements, Bomogao said.


He was referring to groups like Piston Metro Baguio and movements like the Baguio Benguet Against Jeepney Phaseout, which held a rally here against the PUVMP on Jan. 16.

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TAGS: Baguio City Council, public harmonization, PUV modernization program

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