On February 8, 2023, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced that it would extend the deadline for the total phaseout of traditional jeepneys. The agency hopes that with the extension, jeepney operators have ample breathing room to fully modernize their fleet of PUVs. Before this announcement, the LTFRB set the deadline for March 2023 for PUJs outside NCR, and April 2023 for those operating within Metro Manila.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and now the LTFRB has announced a new deadline, set on June 30, 2023. Operators who do not abide by this new deadline will potentially have their franchises revoked. In addition, the June 30 deadline will also apply to operators nationwide, which means, regardless if they’re inside or outside Metro Manila, operators are expected to comply with the announcement. Lastly, traditional jeepney operators must join a transport cooperative before the deadline as well.
The cooperatives are for operators who cannot purchase modern units that retail at least P2.6 million. Through cooperatives, operators can afford modern units through loans via financial institutions. The current requirements for modern PUVs include a Euro 4 compliant engine (if it is diesel-powered), CCTV cameras, an automated fare collection system, and exit doors on the right-hand side of the vehicle.
As it stands, there are still about 25,000 PUV operators that have yet to abide by the PUV modernization program. According to the LTFRB, only 60% of PUV operators have followed the PUVMP guidelines, thus, the remaining 40% have four months left to comply with government guidelines. If the operator is currently in the process of acquiring a modern PUV unit or entering a transport cooperative, the LTFRB will allow them to continue using their old unit until the end of the year.
The LTFRB assured the public that it would provide assistance for jeepney operators who will be displaced by the PUVMP. According to them, drivers and operators may proceed to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for training and financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).