April 17, 2024

Operators and drivers aired their concerns on the Public Transportation Modernization Program (PTMP) during the forum held recently at the Baguio Convention Center.

The forum was attended by stakeholders in the transport industry, including drivers’ groups that aired their members’ concerns.

Among the other issues, the drivers’ associations raised their concern on the slow distribution of fuel subsidy and the impending phase out of traditional jeepneys.

Joel Bolano, Technical Division Head of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, said the LandBank’s processing of the fuel subsidy is ongoing, but he added those whose names are in the list submitted by the LTFRB should have it.

Bolano advised the drivers to double check if their names are on the list. He assured the LTFRB will help in following up with LandBank.

He also said the libreng sakay program is no longer being implemented.

On the phasing out and substitution of existing vehicles, Bolano said they are still studying how to deal with the vehicles that can no longer be substituted.

Bolano said the jeepney phaseout depends on the approval of Local Public Transport Route Plan and (LPTRP) would begin 27 months from the issuance of the LPTRP.

“We’re targeting at least 182 LPTRP for this year kasi po pacing po tayo. We are trying to make it slowly but surely, kaya bawat component, may timeline po tayo diyan and it compliments each other,” Bolano said. 

 Another issue raised by the stakeholders is the numerous extensions in the consolidation of PUVs, which has been delaying the program.

Ang problema lang po natin, ‘yung implementation kasi pitong taon na po tayong nagdurusa ditto. Maganda po ‘yong programa. I-implement na po natin. Aanhin pa po natin ‘yong napaka-tagal na panahon?” one of the participants said.

Bolano said the Department of Transportation and LTFRB have been doing their part in requiring jeepney drivers and operators to consolidate but due to the pandemic and public outcry, the deadline of consolidation was extended.

Bolano reiterated the transport modernization requires jeepney drivers and operators to form cooperatives to be allowed to continue to operate their units. 

Bolano also discussed the new LTFRB policies on vehicles for hire. He said truck operators should comply with the new policies. 

Other concerns were also presented in the forum such as manufacturers that do not follow the standards for manufacturing.

The presence of colorums and flight-by-night vehicles was also raised. The stakeholders asked to protect the original operators by apprehending the violators.

Bolano said as end-users, they have the right to notify the DOTR and LTFRB to call out the assemblers and manufacturers, especially that they only base on the prototypes submitted for the accreditation.

During the two-day event, 19 exhibitors showcased their products and services for the cooperatives, corporations, and other transport operators. – Jenfrey Y. Benafin and Azzesah Jane Lubrin