The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced earlier this week that traditional jeeps will get extended validity for their franchises once again, but for the fourth and last time.
Traditional jeepneys are set to be phased out this year, with the supposed date being April 30, 2023, in line with the dates set for the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). However, the decision to extend the validity of the franchises was made so that “no one will be left behind,” according to the LTFRB’s Chairman, Teofilo Guadiz 3rd.
The PUVMP, as the name suggests, seeks to modernize our public transportation system, by phasing out jeepneys, busses, and other vehicles that are at least 15 years old. Ideally, these vehicles will be replaced by safer, more comfortable, and eco-friendly vehicles.
As it stands now, operators and drivers of traditional jeeps may still renew their franchises, but as part of transport cooperatives. The extension also gives more time to these operators and drivers to join or form a cooperative which is required by the PUVMP guidelines.
The details of the extension have yet to be finalized according to the LTFRB’s heads, and it should be noted that only 60 percent of PUVs have undergone modernization, while 40 percent have still yet to comply. According to the Guadiz of the LTFRB, the PUVMP will continue once up to 95 percent are on board with the program.
There is still a lack of public transportation, according to the LTFRB, and that lack has been taken into account for this decision. In areas where the PUVs are modernized, implementation can proceed, but for areas where the operators and drivers are still not all on board, traditional jeeps will still be a big part of the system.
Moving forward, the LTFRB hopes that more operators will be able to comply with the modernization program, and the agency is looking into resolving potential issues and disparities that may arise or have already come across. As such, the PUVMP compliance deadline will also receive a extension.
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