LTFRB: Only unconsolidated PUVs registered with LTO can operate until April 30
Unconsolidated public utility vehicles (PUVs) can continue to ply their routes until the end of April as long as they are registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO), according to a memorandum issued by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Thursday.
“The authority to operate the units of all unconsolidated individual operators is extended until 30 April 2024, provided the unit is currently registered with the [LTO] and has a valid personal passenger accident insurance coverage,” LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III said in Memorandum Circular No. 2024-001.
President Marcos earlier approved the recommendation of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista to grant a three-month extension to consolidate franchises, one of the requirements under the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP). The previous deadline was Dec. 31, 2023, after which unconsolidated PUVs could operate only until Jan. 31 this year, before their units would be seized and impounded for being “colorum (illegal)” vehicles.
MC 2024-001 also set guidelines for filing applications for consolidation. These included the following:
In routes covered by the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP), consolidation is allowed on existing rationalized routes with no consolidated entity as of Dec. 31, 2023.
For routes not yet covered by LPTRP or route rationalization, consolidation will be allowed if the number of unconsolidated units for a particular route is at least 40 percent of the total number of authorized units (NAU). The consolidated entities on the route must comply with standard fleet management to ensure the organized dispatch of units and avoid competition among them.
If the number of unconsolidated units is below 40 percent of the total NAU, consolidation shall not be allowed, the LTFRB said.
Unconsolidated individual operators may join existing Transport Service Entities (TSEs) on the route. TSEs may be transport cooperatives or corporations registered with the transportation department’s Office of Transport Cooperatives.
For routes where the NAU is less than 15 units, consolidation shall be allowed if the consolidation application covers at least most of the existing NAU.
For this purpose, the LTFRB said that individual operators whose application for consolidation was limited by previous orders restricting the number of units to at least 15 may now be allowed to form their own TSE or join any existing TSEs in overlapping routes until April 30.MC 2024-001 also extended to April 30, the period to complete the required number of units of pending applications for consolidation with an affidavit of undertaking as provided for under MC 2020-084.