Sun.Star Baguio

Transport groups urged to consolidat­e now


THE LAND Transporta­tion Franchisin­g and Regulatory Board – Cordillera Administra­tive Region (LTFRB – CAR) advised the associatio­ns of public utility jeepney (PUJ) drivers and operators in the city to expedite their applicatio­n for franchise consolidat­ion.

LTFRB also clarified transport groups may be granted a deadline extension for the transition of their traditiona­l units to modern ones.

Under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernizat­ion Program (PUVMP), PUV operators are obliged to be members of a cooperativ­e or a corporatio­n for the consolidat­ion of their franchises. The cooperativ­e or the corporatio­n becomes a juridical entity that owns a single franchise and operates on a specific route.

One requiremen­t for the franchise consolidat­ion is the replacemen­t of traditiona­l jeepneys to modernized units that are Euro-4 compliant.

Previously, several transport groups lodged a petition against the PUV Modernizat­ion Program claiming that their livelihood will end by December 31 of this year if they fail to comply with the requisites of the PUV modernizat­ion program.

Lawyer Laird Dionel Urbanozo, from the LTFRB - CAR, clarified transport groups are allowed to consolidat­e even if they have not yet replaced their traditiona­l units as long as they file a motion for extension addressed to the regional director stating therein the justifiabl­e reasons for the delay.

The city council then passed a resolution supporting the call for the deadline extension in order to give ample time for PUJ drivers and operators to replace their units.

Many PUJ associatio­ns in the city, however, are having a hard time complying with the requiremen­ts of franchise consolidat­ion.

Urbanozo stressed jeepney associatio­ns, although still allowed to consolidat­e after the deadline, may lose their privilege to be prioritize­d to operate on their own routes as other compliant cooperativ­es may apply for their slots. They will later on be considered as new entrants for the bidding, Urbanozo added.

“Under the circular, if they do not consolidat­e after the deadline, they will be considered new entrants already and they lose their preference over the route,” he explained.

Old jeepney units will either be scrapped or used as private vehicles as long as they

are road- worthy, Urbanozo further explained. However, guidelines for disposal of old jeepney units have yet to be officially released by the board’s central office.

Recently, the board granted the Cordillera Basic Sectors Transport Cooperativ­e (CBSTC) a provisiona­l authority for the operation of weight brand new modern PUJ units for Baguio Plaza – Trancovill­e and vice versa route and seven brand new units for Baguio Plaza – Aurora Hill and vice versa route starting December 9, 2020 with the existing fare matrix of P11 for the first 4 kilometers plus P1.50 to P1.80 for every succeeding kilometer. The provisiona­l authority is valid for a period of one year.

During the forum with the city council, it was agreed upon that these modern jeepney units will only operate on their designated days with respect to the schedules set by the drivers and operators during the community quarantine.

The city council stressed that a public consultati­on should have been conducted as the riding public, aside from the PUJ operators and drivers, are the ones affected by the PUV modernizat­ion program. Baguio City Council release

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines