Solon to DOTr: Congress can intervene in PUV consolidation issue | Inquirer News

Solon to DOTr: Congress can intervene in PUV consolidation issue

/ 10:01 PM February 08, 2024

 jeepneys and consolidation rule

(RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer file photo)

Solon to DOTr: Right to grant franchises only relegated to you, we can step in

MANILA, Philippines — Marikina 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo on Thursday called out the Department of Transportation (DOTr) over its insistence on consolidating the franchises of jeepneys.


Quimbo said during the hearing of the House committee on transportatio that the right to grant franchises is a power of Congress — which means the legislature can amend the franchise rules set by DOTr’s attached agency, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).


“It is very clear the power to grant franchises rests with Congress.  Not government, Mr. Secretary, it rests with Congress,” Quimbo told Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, who attended the committee hearings on the public utility vehicle. modernization program for the first time.

“It is simply delegated to you Mr. Secretary.  And there is a special, there is a provision in the Public Service Act as amended, and I will read it to you,” she added.

Quimbo proceeded to read the Public Service Act’s provisions stating that franchises cannot be granted except “under the condition that is always subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by Congress when the public interest so requires”.

“In other words, even when we delegate it to you sir, kung sa tingin po ng Kongreso na kailangan po namin makialam for the sake of public interest, pwede po namin gawin po yoon,” Quimbo said.

(In other words, even when we delegate it to you sir, if Congress thinks we need to interfere for the sake of public interest, we can do that.)

“So hindi po tayo matatapos.  So sana po you keep an open mind.  Marami pong deep ang implications pag pinipilit natin na consolidated ang franchises.  And ang number one po diyan is safety,” she added.

 (We would not have an end to this.  So I hope you keep an open mind.  There are many deep implications if we force a consolidation of franchises.  And number one on that list is safety.)


Bautista assured Quimbo that he and agencies within DOTr will discuss this over and keep an open mind.

“Thank you Congressman Quimbo, ‘yong open mind po, we’ll discuss this with LTFRB, ‘pag-usapan lang namin if we can allow the members to keep their franchise.  Pag-usapan po namin and we’ll report to you,” Bautista said.

 (Thank you Congressman Quimbo, with regards to keeping an open mind, we’ll discuss this with LTFRB, we’ll talk if we can allow the members to keep their franchise.  We’ll discuss this and and we’ll report to you.)

Quimbo likewise wondered why the government insists on the consolidation of jeepney franchises, when it is not being implemented for other public transport modes — like tricycles and buses.

Quimbo used the tricycle operators and drivers’ association (TODA) as an example of a public transportations system that features consolidated operations, but not consolidated franchises.

She told Bautista that she understands TODAs are not under Department of Transportation (DOTr) jurisdiction, but it’s a system that can be emulated.

“I completely understand why there is a need to consolidate operations, walang issue po (there’s no issue).  Ang hindi ko lang po maintindihan (What I cannot understand) is why there is an obsession with the consolidation of franchises,” she said.

“‘Yon lang po, bakit po sa TODA — alam ko na ang toda wala sa jurisdiction ninyo — ang TODA po, consolidated ang operations, isa lang po ang rota na tinatakbo ng lahat ng tricycle, sila ay nagkakasundo.  Pero po, isa-isa po ang prangkisa ng bawat tricycle,” she added.

Lawmakers have called out DOTr and the LTFRB for its insistence on requiring the consolidation of jeepney drivers and operators’ franchises with a single cooperative or corporation, as part of the PUV modernization program.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has extended the consolidation deadline to April 30.

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