Poe reminds LTFRB: No PUV phaseout during COVID-19 pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   March 17, 2021   •   739

 

MANILA, Philippines –  Senator Grace Poe has reminded the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) that any form of phaseout of public utility vehicles (PUV) during the coronavirus pandemic is not allowed under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

During a hearing on the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) on Tuesday, Poe stressed that the law prohibits the issuance of memorandums that would essentially stop PUV drivers from plying the road during the pandemic when “support from the government is still lacking.”

The Senate Committee on Public Service, chaired by Poe, conducted the hearing to hear both sides of concerns coming from the stakeholders of the transportation sector and the LTFRB.

“Lagi kong sinasabi ito tuwing mga drayber ang pinag-uusapan: Gusto nating maging ligtas ang ating mga daan at pampublikong sasakyan. Ngunit, ika nga nila – there are two sides to every story and as policymakers, we are expected to consider both,” Poe said.

“Surely, there must be a way to modernize our public utility vehicles without throwing our drivers under the proverbial bus,” she added.

During the hearing, LTFRB Chairperson Martin Delgra said that a total of 2,589 units have been modernized as of December 2020, an 82.2-percent increase compared to the same time last year despite the pandemic.

On the other hand, a total of 81,092 units have been consolidated as of March 5, 2021, he added.

“My takeaway from the whole presentation is that there’s a marked improvement of those who are willing to join, pero hindi natin maipagkakailang marami pa ring napag-iiwanan,” Poe said.

The senator said that data shows that around 100,000 PUV drivers and operators who will be displaced as a result of the PUVMP.

But Delgra clarified that operators who have yet to consolidate in time for the March 31 deadline will not be forced to phase out but are given time to consolidate within the year.

“In order to truly heal and recover as one, we need to lift unnecessary burdens caused by deadlines and requirements that could not possibly be met by hundreds of thousands of PUV operators,” said Poe.

The key components of the PUVMP include Local Public Transport Route Planning (LPTRP) where local government units are required to prepare their own LPTRP that will be implemented in their selective localities, route rationalization that aims to address operational inefficiencies and worsening of traffic conditions, fleet modernization, industry consolidation, and social support mechanisms.

Poe asked stakeholders to submit their requests and concerns to her office and the LTFRB for further study and consideration and asked the agency to submit the step-by-step procedure to apply for a cooperative to make sure it’s compliant to the Anti-Red Tape Act.

Listahan ng PUJ drivers at operators na makakakuha ng fuel subsidy, isinasapinal na – LTFRB

Robie de Guzman   •   November 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Isinasapinal na ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ang listahan ng public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers at operators na kwalipikado sa fuel subsidy program ng pamahalaan.

Ayon kay LTFRB Technical Division Head Joel Bolano, nasa 136,000 ang bilang ng mga benepisyaryo ng programa batay sa inilathala ng Department of Transportation (DOTr)

Ngunit paglilinaw ng opisyal, maaari pang mabago ang listahan ng mga benepisyaryo dahil kasama pa sa naturang bilang ang mga dati nang nakakuha ng bank account card sa ilalim ng pantawid pasada program noong 2018 at 2019.

Ayon kay Bolano, posibleng hindi na aktibo ang ilan sa mga benepisyaryo kaya kailangan pa munang ayusin ang listahan at isama ang ibang tsuper at operator na hindi nakakuha noon ng bank card pati na ang mga bagong operator.

“So, from the 136 (thousand) na iyon, baka yung iba inactive na. So, fina-finalize lang kaya mag-a-adjust talaga iyon. So, may effect iyon doon sa individual na amount,” ang pahayag ng opisyal.

Muli namang paalala ng LTFRB sa PUJ drivers at operators na gagamitin lang ang fuel subsidy para sa pamamasada alinsunod sa nilagdaan nilang kasunduan.

Ibibigay ang card sa mga tsuper upang magamit sa mga gasolinahan kapag kakargahan ng krudo sa kanilang operasyon.

Maaari din namang ang operator ang magpa-gas upang matiyak na walang gagastusin ang driver sa pagkakarga ng krudo.

Babala ng LTFRB, maaaring patawan ng parusa ang mga operator sakaling may paglabag sa programa.

Sa ngayon, patuloy na naghahanda ang LTFRB para sa pagpapatupad ng programa.

“Hopefully, mai-start na natin within this November mairo-rollout na natin iyan kasi ang pagkakaalam ko papasok na yung fund galing sa DBM to DOTr itong week na ito,” ani Bolano.

Ayon sa LTFRB, malalaman sa mga susunod na araw ang halaga ng subsidiyang makukuha ng mga tsuper kapag naisapinal na ang listahan ng mga benepisyaryo. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

LTFRB: fuel subsidy for PUJ drivers to be released next week

Maris Federez   •   November 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has announced that the budget for the fuel subsidy of public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers  will likely be released next week.

In an interview with LTFRB Technical Division chief Joel Bolano, the board is now preparing the list of qualified beneficiaries under the Pantawid Pasada program.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra has earlier said that only legitimate qualified franchise holders and their drivers particularly those who were in the traditional public utility jeepney sector will be covered by the subsidy.

The government’s decision to give subsidy to qualified drivers was prompted by the surging prices of fuel. —/mbmf

PNP-HPG to deploy personnel for pilot increase in PUV passenger capacity

Robie de Guzman   •   November 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) will deploy at least 200 personnel to help in the pilot run of the gradual increase in number of allowed passengers in public utility vehicles (PUV).

PNP-HPG director Brigadier General Alexander Tagum said their personnel will be deployed in different parts of Metro Manila to extend any form of assistance to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and ensure the strict observance of minimum public health standards among passengers.

“Nag-prepare na ang aking mga ground commander para ma-maximize ang deployment ng aming mga highway patrol personnel to assist our motorist,” Tagum said.

“Patuloy ang aming mandate para sa pagpapatupad ng health protocol para sa motorist at mga pasahero. Primary mandate namin ay ang pag-support sa lahat ng requirement ng PNP at local government units so we assure that HPG will be there to assist in whatever we can to ensure na mas maganda ang byahe ng ating motorist in accordance to the protocol ng IATF,” he added.

The DOTr earlier said the pilot run will begin on November 4. The result of the test would determine if public transportation can already resume to its full operation amid the pandemic.

The pilot run was scheduled after the government’s task force on COVID-19 response approved the increase in operational capacity from the current 50% to 70% for public road-based and rail transportation plying Metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna.

PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar reminded commuters to continue observing the health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus in PUVs.

“May plastic barrier man o wala, may law enforcer man o wala, ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa laban sa COVID-19 ay nasa kamay ng bawat driver at pasahero. Kaya sa mga kapatid nating driver ng mga pampasaherong sasakyan, huwag na sanang mauwi sa sitahan pa ang bagong patakarang ito dahil alam ninyo na kayo din naman ang magdurusa kung kayo ay mahuli,” he said.

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