Use PUV consolidation respite to review modernization —senators

Use PUV consolidation respite to review modernization —senators

Consult with drivers and operators to formulate plan, lawmakers say
By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 10:15 AM January 25, 2024

MANILA, Philippines —  Senators on Thursday agreed that the three-month extension for the franchise consolidation of drivers and operators under the Public Utility Vehicles Modernization Program (PUVMP) should be dedicated to its more comprehensive review and dialogue with transport workers.

Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, emphasized extending the consolidation deadline as a “far-reaching initiative” since the welfare of commuters and transport workers was on the line.

“The three-month extension can be best utilized by conducting a thorough review of the program to see its gains and better understand the defiance of some groups to it,” she said in a statement sent to reporters.


Stressing the need for a better look into the program, Poe noted reports of idle units and missed amortization payments by consolidated groups.


“The high cost of the new vehicles has proven to be a big stumbling block to the rollout of modernization and should not be ignored,” the senator said.

Poe also urged transport officials to consider the rehabilitation of road-worthy jeepneys to make them environmentally compliant.

“Modernization is not just about consolidation and throwing to the junkyard our iconic jeepneys,” she stressed, “It should be about rejuvenating our transportation landscape to make it safer and more reliable to our commuters, and at the same time sustainable to our drivers and operators.”

Environmental compliance is one of the requirements for modern jeepneys to replace traditional ones.

READ: Jeep modernization: Adapt or perish

Meanwhile, Senator Imee Marcos concurred that the PUVMP requires a comprehensive plan that is fair and acceptable for both drivers and commuters.


“Gamitin natin ang mga susunod na buwan konsultahin ang bawat sector upang makabuo nitong plano,” Marcos said in a separate statement.

(In the coming months, let’s use consultations to engage with each sector to formulate this plan.)

On the other hand, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel urged transportation officials to conduct a “massive, extensive, serious, and deep” consultation with PUV drivers and operators.

“Although this gives DOTr (Department of Transportation) time to revisit the program, sana sinuspend ang programa. Suspended ang programa, revisit the program, look at the details,” he said over an ANC interview.

(Although this gives the DOTr time to revisit the program, it would be better if it were suspended. By suspending the program, we can revisit and scrutinize the details.)

“I-involve na nila ‘yung mga drivers and operators. Mas massive, extensive, serious, and deep consultation with the drivers and operators kasi sila naman talaga may alam ng katotohanan dito eh. Kahit ako senador hindi ko naman alam ‘yung pang araw-araw na struggle ng mga jeepney drivers and operators,” Pimentel added.

(They should now involve the drivers and operators. A more massive, extensive, profound, and deep consultation with the drivers and operators is necessary because they are the ones who truly know the reality here. Even as a senator, I am not aware of the day-to-day struggles of jeepney drivers and operators.)

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has approved Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista’s recommendation to extend the consolidation deadline until April 30.

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This is the eight extension of the consolidation deadline from the original cutoff dates—December 2021, June 2022, March 2023, June 2023, and December 31, 2023.

TAGS: franchise consolidation, PUV

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