LTFRB suspends point-to-point ops of UV express

Robie de Guzman   •   June 3, 2019   •   2769

MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has suspended the implementation of a memorandum circular which limits UV Express Service Units to point-to-point operations.

In an advisory, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced that the memorandum circular 2019-025 will be suspended for two weeks to give way to consultations with stakeholders.

“Per [DOTr] Asec. Goddes [Libiran], yes, it’s confirmed. It will be suspended for two weeks to give way to stakeholder consultation,” the DOTr said in a statement.

The new policy, which abolishes the two-kilometer radius from the endpoints of UV Express units where they are allowed to load and unload passengers, will take effect by middle of June.

The suspension order was issued after various transport groups claimed that the LTFRB did not consult them when it crafted the memo.

They also urged the agency earlier to designate pick-up and drop-off zones between the origin and destination for UV Express units to spare commuters from additional hassle and fare.

READ: LTFRB urged to set UV express loading, unloading zones

The LTFRB will also meet with several transport and commuters’ welfare groups to discuss the new policy.

LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra earlier said the new memo, which was signed on May 16, was actually a part of a 2005 memorandum which provides the original concept of UV Express Service, to only pick-up and drop off commuters at terminals specified in their franchise.

He said the Board decided to remove the two-kilometer radius because most UV express drivers do not use the designated terminals to load and unload passengers between their endpoints. The time used in picking up and dropping off of passengers also slows down traffic. (with details from Joan Nano)

LTFRB calls COA report misleading; clarifies 1% utilization rate of service contracting program budget

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Wednesday sought to clarify the findings in the 2020 Commission on Audit (COA) report which stipulated that the Service Contracting Program of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and LTFRB utilized only one percent of the allocated budget for the program.

The LTFRB explained that the actual funds were downloaded to the agency only in November 2020 and were distributed to the drivers in December.

The agency stressed that upon receiving the downloaded funds, it immediately implemented the Service Contracting Program “to incentivize Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators who were given permission to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The funds were distributed to the drivers through bank transfers or e-money/wallets of GCASH or PAYMAYA via InstaPay or PESONet.

“Therefore, it is misleading to angle certain reports and columns that only one percent was used from the P5.56-B funds for the Service Contracting Program, where in fact, the one percent utilization rate only covers the implementation month of December 2020, which is also the coverage/extent of the COA report that was released,” it said.

The LTFRB further reported that, as of June 30, 2021, P1.5 billion was released to beneficiary drivers nationwide and for the procurement of Systems Manager, a computer program responsible for the development and management of all project systems.

The LTFRB also said that initial payouts of P4,000 were provided to 23,410 drivers; one-time onboarding incentives of P25,000 were provided to 8,461 drivers; one-time onboarding incentives of P20,000 were provided to 702 drivers; and; 18,864 drivers received their weekly payouts.

Regional Disbursement Breakdown:

NCR: P 899,283,017
Region I : P 30,880,623
Region II: P 22,700,504
Region III: P 66,521,375
Region IV : P 100, 976, 294
Region V: P 961, 133
Region VI: P 57,889,214
Region VII: P 14, 594,682
Region VIII: P 2,122,413
Region IX: P 21,065,854
Region X: P 28,938,937
Region XI: P 17,494,636
Region XII: P 81, 798,612
CARAGA: P 72,533,642
CAR: P 26,635,722

Driver Participants:

Registered Drivers- 70,303
Uploaded Drivers- 50,547
Oriented Drivers- 59, 153
Executed Contracts- 50,068

The statement said that to date, the LTFRB is in close coordination with the Department of Budget and Management for the release of funds amounting to P3.3 Billion on the remaining account payables.

The LTFRB said it is committed to helping the DOTr achieve its goal in improving the public transport system towards the development of long-term solutions in the service of our drivers, operators, and the public in general, especially during this time of the pandemic.

LTFRB defends slow pace of fund release for service contracting program

Maris Federez   •   August 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Atty. Martin Delgra defended the agency’s seemingly slow-paced implementation of the Service Contracting Program, which resulted in the delay of the release of benefits intended for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators.

“Alam din po natin na kahit na sinagad po natin ‘yung programa hanggang June 30, yung pagmomonitor, pagkokolekta ng mga date, pagpeprare ng mga payroll, at saka mga financial documents, hindi po natin maaabot doon sa last day,” Delgra said.

Based on the 2020 Annual Audit Report of the Commission on Audit (COA), the LTFRB has released only about P59.7 million or just one percent of the P5.5 billion budget for the said program.

Read: COA calls out LTFRB for using only 1% of P5.5-B budget for drivers’ assistance

The COA recommended to the LTFRB to review its guidelines and make the process simple for the fast distribution of funds.

The Service Contracting Program was launched under the Bayanihan to Recover as One or the Bayanihan 2 which aimed at providing additional income and incentives to drivers whose livelihood was affected by the pandemic.

The said program also launched the government’s Libreng Sakay which was suspended when the implementation of the Bayanihan 2 ended on June 20, 2021.

LTFRB Financial and Management Division, meanwhile, said that aside from the delayed launching of the program, the late downloading of the budget in November 2020 and the alleged incomplete requirement submitted by some drivers contributed to the slow processing of the release of the initial subsidy.

Delgra said around P1.25 billion or over 26 percent of the total funds was released by the agency upon the extension of the Bayanihan 2 until June 30.

The LTFRB chief also said that they have submitted their request to the Department of Budget and Management to release to them the amount of P3.4 billion to be distributed to the rest of the beneficiaries.

The LTFRB is also awaiting the P3 billion from the 2021 national budget for them to resume the service contracting program this year.

“Ayon na rin po sa guidance ng DBM, yung unspent amount po na as of June 30 on the service contracting program maibalik pero mayroon pong ibabalik ayon dun sa nirequest namin na amount na kailangan naming bayaran dun sa tinatawag nating pending payout po,” Delgra said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

COA calls out LTFRB for using only 1% of P5.5-B budget for drivers’ assistance

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Audit (COA) has called out to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for using only 1% of the total budget for drivers’ assistance.

Based on COA’s 2020 report, the LTFRB only used around P59 million out of the P5.58 billion funds allotted for the Service Contracting Program.

“Delays in the implementation of the Service Contracting Program ranging from two  to 10 weeks as at December 31, 2020 resulted in the minimal fund utilization of only P59,720, 089 or 1.07%  of the total project fund, thereby delaying the intended benefits to the PUV drivers and operators,” the report said.

COA also reported that only 29,871 drivers or 49.79% of 60,000 targeted driver-participants were registered in the program as of the end of the year. With this, COA advised the LTFRB to review its guidelines and simplify the process for the implementation of the program  to maximize the use of the funds and the participation of beneficiaries. AAC

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