Ser­vice con­tract­ing of PUVS ap­proved

BusinessMirror - - Companies - BY LORENZ S. MARASIGAN @lorenz­marasi­gan

THE De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOTR) may soon im­ple­ment a ser­vice con­tract­ing scheme for pub­lic util­ity ve­hi­cles (PUVS) to aug­ment the cur­rent sup­ply of trans­port modes as well as help driv­ers and op­er­a­tors cope with the losses they in­curred dur­ing the pan­demic.

This comes af­ter the In­ter­a­gency Task Force for Emerg­ing In­fec­tious Diseases ap­proved the said scheme that was pro­posed by the Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Clus­ter.

Un­der the ser­vice con­tract­ing scheme, the trans­port de­part­ment will sub­si­dize pub­lic trans­port op­er­a­tions and in­cen­tivize PUV op­er­a­tors to re­sume op­er­a­tions. This will help serve com­muters and re­store the liveli­hood of dis­placed trans­port work­ers.

The bud­get for the said scheme will be funded by the Bayani­han to Re­cover as One Act or the Bayani­han 2. Trans­porta­tion As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary for Road Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture Steve Pas­tor, said the in­clu­sion of ser­vice con­tract­ing in the mea­sure was de­vel­oped in re­sponse to the fi­nan­cial con­straints ex­pe­ri­enced by many PUV op­er­a­tors and driv­ers due to the strin­gent health and san­i­tary pro­to­cols that must be ob­served in pub­lic trans­port.

“Due to the lim­i­ta­tions im­posed on our pub­lic trans­porta­tion, op­er­a­tors and driv­ers may not be able to sus­tain their op­er­a­tions. This may lead to in­con­sis­tent travel trips caus­ing com­muters to com­pete for rides, while driv­ers and op­er­a­tors dis­re­gard pas­sen­ger ca­pac­ity in ex­change for more rev­enue,” he said.

The ser­vice con­tract­ing scheme will be spear­headed by the land Trans­porta­tion Fran­chis­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Board (LTFRB), an at­tached agency of the DOTR.

“The con­cerned agen­cies in the trans­port sec­tor are adamant that safety should not be fore­gone as we push for eco­nomic recovery and mo­bil­ity of services. Thus, we are push­ing for the use of ser­vice con­tract­ing as th­ese would al­low for ef­fi­ciency of travel and the re­duc­tion of trans­mis­sion,” Pas­tor said.

LTFRB Chair­man Martin Del­gra III said his group is now work­ing on im­ple­ment­ing the con­tract­ing scheme, wherein the gov­ern­ment will pay op­er­a­tors and driv­ers of pub­lic trans­porta­tion units based on ve­hi­cle-kilo­me­ters trav­elled and spe­cific per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors.

“The new ar­range­ment of ser­vice con­tracts among pub­lic trans­porta­tion will no longer just de­pend on the num­ber of pas­sen­gers be­ing car­ried. We are en­sur­ing that our driv­ers will be fully com­pen­sated for their services, de­spite the im­posed load lim­i­ta­tions,” he said.

Those who will be in­cluded in the scheme are re­quired to fol­low the ex­ist­ing healthy safety pro­to­cols in pub­lic trans­porta­tion.

Del­gra added that a set of qual­i­fi­ca­tions based on road safety has also been pre­scribed. Con­trac­tors and driv­ers must pos­sess a pro­fes­sional driver’s li­cense and must be driv­ing a ser­vice unit con­firmed by an op­er­a­tor. PUVS must also pass road­wor­thi­ness stan­dards of the land Trans­porta­tion Of­fice and must not have been in­volved in any road crash in­ci­dent in the last two years.

“To en­sure fair­ness as well, we will be em­ploy­ing a third-party mon­i­tor­ing en­tity to eval­u­ate the to­tal ve­hi­cle-kilo­me­ters op­er­ated, the re­li­a­bil­ity of their services, driver and ve­hi­cle qual­ity and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion,” Del­gra said.

Per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors that will serve as ad­di­tional ba­sis for pay­ment and the pre­ferred mode of pay­ment on th­ese ve­hi­cles are be­ing fi­nal­ized, he added.

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