Marcos extends PUV consolidation deadline by 3 months | Inquirer News
As recommended by transport chief

Marcos extends PUV consolidation deadline by 3 months

/ 05:32 AM January 25, 2024

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

CONTINUING PROTEST | 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. (Photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Jeepney drivers and operators who have yet to form themselves into cooperatives or corporations can heave a sigh of relief, for now.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gave them until April 30, or three more months, to apply for consolidation under the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).


Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Velicaria Garafil said the President approved Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista’s recommendation to extend the deadline.


“This extension is to give an opportunity to those who expressed intention to consolidate but did not make the previous cutoff,” Garafil said in a statement on Wednesday night.

The decision came hours after the House transportation committee asked Mr. Marcos to extend the deadline until there is a “concrete plan to address the issues” still being raised against the program.

‘Take advantage’

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chair Teofilo Guadiz III said the agency would “adhere” to the President’s directive.

“Operators and drivers are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity provided by the President,” Guadiz said.

Under the PUV modernization program that was launched in 2017, PUV operators and drivers must form transport cooperatives or corporations to be entitled to subsidies, assistance, and access to credit, which in turn will help them purchase modern, Euro-4 compliant vehicles.

The LTFRB earlier issued Memorandum Circular No. 2023-017, which gives PUV operators only until Dec. 31, 2023, to join an existing consolidated entity, or else their units will be deemed unauthorized.


The deadline had been moved several times from the original cutoff dates—December 2021, June 2022, March 2023, and June 2023—before it was set to end-December last year.

On Dec. 12, President Marcos said there would be no more extensions for the franchise application.


But the LTFRB, on Dec. 22, issued Memorandum Circular No. 2023-052, allowing noncompliant PUVs to still operate on selected routes until Jan. 31 this year.

As of mid-January, the LTFRB said 190,000 PUV units had already complied with the consolidation requirement. The number included traditional jeepneys, UV Express units, minibuses, and buses.

The PCO cited LTFRB data which showed the following consolidation rates: UV Express, 82 percent; jeepneys, 75 percent; buses, 86 percent; and minibuses, 45 percent. It added that 1,728 cooperatives and corporations with 262,344 members had been established under the program.

Transport groups protesting the program have cited the high cost of the modern PUVs—around  P2.5 million per unit—and the possible displacement of thousands of drivers and operators who could not comply.  Aside from mounting strikes and rallies, transport groups asked the Supreme Court to stop the Department of Transportation (DOTr) from implementing the PUVMP, citing the “grave and irreparable injury” it may cause to the sector.

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In response, the DOTr asked the high court to dismiss their petition for lack of merit.

TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos Jr., public utility vehicles, PUV modernization program

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