Commuter, transport groups call for resignation of LTFRB’s Martin Delgra

Marje Pelayo   •   December 4, 2018   •   3535

FILE PHOTO: LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Some transport and commuter groups are dismayed by the sudden cut in jeepney fares without proper consultation from stakeholders.

The minimum jeepney fare of P9.00 took effect on Tuesday from the previous P10.00.

Tuesday (December 4) was supposedly the second hearing of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on the group’s petition to rollback the minimum jeepney fare to P8.00 instead of P9.00.

“Bakit bigla-bigla nilang kinansela itong hearing na ito? Ano ang dahilan? Bastusan na ba ito?” said RJ Javellana of the United Filipino Consumers and Commuters (UFCC) group.

The UFCC argued that the rollback was not enough because the price of oil has already been slashed many times to a significant amount.

Avellana said, even bus fares should also be rolled back following the oil price drop.

“Taong 2008 buwan po ng Mayo, ang presyo po ng diesel ay P46.40. Ang presyo po ng pamasahe ay P8. Ang pamasahe po kahapon P10 pesos. Ngayon ay P9.00 pesos pero ang diesel po ay naglalaro sa P38.80,” Avellana argued.

The transport group insisted that the LTFRB should have held a consultation or a hearing on the price cut prior to its implementation.

Efren de Luna of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) said fare cuts or fare hikes shouldn’t be based solely on the price of oil.

De Luna said maintenance cost, discounts for senior citizens and students, the color-coding scheme as well as the traffic situation are also significant factors to be considered in planning for fare adjustments.

The group added that their petition for fare increase have long been stalled and have already incurred them losses in income.

“Dating nakakaanim na ikot kami, dahil sa matinding traffic naging  apat na lamang ang pag-ikot namin edi napakalaki ng pasahero na nawala sa amin,” De Luna lamented.

Meanwhile, former LTFRB Board Member Atty. Aileen Lizada expressed support to the complaints of the transport and commuters’ groups.

She believes that the resolution for a fare cut was drafted and released in haste.

“Ang proseso kasi nauuna si board member Corpuz and then to my office and then last si Chairman Delgra. So yung natanggap kong resolusyon tama yung protocol Corpuz, ako. Pero yung nilabas nila, Corpuz (to) Delgra. Hindi na idinaan sa akin when in fact I have 2 copies of the draft resolution signed by board member Corpuz,” Lizada said on the alleged breach of channeling in the recent fare reduction.

However, Lizada clarified that the agency has the power to impose fare reduction even without a petition and if the latest fare increase is only temporary.

Because of the controversy, the groups called on LTFRB Martin Delgra to resign as they accuse him of mismanaging the agency.

Delgra has yet to respond to their call.

Lizada, meanwhile, whose term in the LTFRB ends today, calls on her former colleagues to be more open and to listen to the queries of the agency’s stakeholders.

“My message to the members of the board: have time to dialogue with your stakeholders. Hindi po natin sila kalaban. Listen to them. If you want their cooperation, be open enough to meet them. Let us not meet them only when we need something from them. Let us meet them especially when they need us. That’s why we are placed there,” Lizada concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

List: Approved UV Express routes starting June 29

Marje Pelayo   •   June 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has announced that a total of 980 UV Express units will start operating on Monday (June 29) along 47 routes in and out of Metro Manila.

Under the guidelines set by LTFRB through Memorandum Circular No. 2020-025, all routes are strictly terminal-to-terminal only, meaning, drivers are not allowed to pick up or drop off  passengers along the way.

UV Express units are not allowed on EDSA and Commonwealth Avenue except to cross.

Fare rate shall remain at P2 per kilometer, according to the memorandum. and that no fare adjustment shall be applied unless approved by the agency.

Additionally, the following are salient provisions stated in the guidelines in relation to health protocols imposed by the national government in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic:

  • Operators must regularly examine a driver’s fitness to work, checking their body temperature and screening for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Wearing of masks and gloves at all times is mandatory to all drivers and conductors.
  • Strictly “No Face Mask, No Ride” for commuters.
  • Exact fare shall be paid prior to boarding the PUV or operators/drivers may devise any fare collection system such as use of a fare drop-off to minimize/prevent transmittal of COVID-19.
  • Strictly two (2) passengers per row with passengers seated one seat apart.
  • Impermeable barriers must be installed to seal off the driver’s compartment and between rows of seats that are less than one (1) meter apart.

The guidelines for UV Express operations are in line with the “gradual, calibrated and calculated approach” of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on the resumption of public transportation in Metro Manila amid the general community quarantine (GCQ).

According to LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra, failure to comply with the guidelines may warrant the imposition of fines and suspension or cancellation of their franchise.

LTFRB: UV express to resume operations within the month

Marje Pelayo   •   June 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has announced the possibility of allowing UV Express vehicles to ply the major roads of Metro Manila again before the end of the month.

According to LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra, the agency is now finalizing the guidelines that will allow UV Express to resume operations before the end of June following the full deployment of modernized public utility jeepneys (PUJs).

Delgra added that the technical working group (TWG) is thoroughly studying the proposed measures that the operators and drivers of UV express should abide by under the government-imposed general community quarantine (GCQ).

“We are exhausting all efforts to balance our mandate in transportation with our responsibility of helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. That is why we are observing a gradual and calculated approach for the resumption of public transportation particularly in areas under GCQ,” Delgra said.

The LTFRB also assured that it is working double time to implement the second phase of the resumption of public transportation in Metro Manila which includes UV Express.

The first phase which was implemented from June 1 to 21, allowed the  resumption of public transportation in GCQ areas namely the rail transport, point-to-point (P2P) bus service, city buses, taxis, Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS), shuttle services, tricycles, and bicycles.

5,000 pampasaherong jeep sa Metro Manila, posibleng payagang pumasada simula June 30 – LTFRB

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Aabot sa 5,000 pampasaherong jeep sa Metro Manila ang posibleng payagang muling pumasada simula sa Hunyo 30, ayon sa Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Ayon kay LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III, isinasapinal na nila ang mga panuntunan para sa 104 rationalized routes ng public utility jeepneys (PUJ) sa National Capital Region.

Aniya, maaaring mailabas ito sa mga susunod na araw.

“We’re looking at on or before the end of the month because y’ong routes po, na-identify na; y’ong numero po, na-identify na. The basic principle here really is we need to have connectivity between the rail, the bus and the jeepneys po,” ani Delgra.

Apela naman ng transport group na Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON), sana ay pinayagan na ring bumiyahe ang mga jeep kasabay ng paglipat sa Metro Manila sa general community quarantine dahil pinahintulutan na rin naman ang pagpasok sa trabaho ng ilang manggagawa.

Ayon kay George San Mateo, ang president emeritus ng PISTON, maraming tsuper ang napilitang mamalimos sa gitna ng quarantine dahil sa kawalan ng kita.

“So, ang epekto nito ay lalong nalulubog y’ong kabuhayan ng ating mga jeepney driver at maliliit na operator lalo pa tatlong buwan na silang walang kabuhayan,” ani San Mateo.

At the same time, nagdurusa din y’ong ating mga kababayang mananakay lalo na ang mga manggagawa dahil pinagkakaitan sila ng pamahalaan ng mga masasakyang public transport,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, tiniyak ni Delgra na tuloy na rin sa June 22 ang pagbabalik-operasyon ng modern jeepneys, provincial buses at UV Express Units.

Una nang sinabi ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) na gradual ang pagbabalik-operasyon ng pampublikong transportasyon sa Metro Manila at gagawin ito sa dalawang bahagi.

Sa phase 1, papayagan ang mga tren, bus augmentation, taxi, transport network vehicle service, shuttle service, point-to-point buses at mga bisikleta simula June 1-21 habang phase 2 naman ang public utility buses, modern jeepneys, at UV express simula sa June 22-30.

Ngunit paalala ng ahensya, limitado lang ang bilang ng mga pasaherong maaaring isakay upang mapanatili ang physical distancing at iba pang health protocols. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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