April 14, 2024

An estimated 76 percent of active public utility vehicles (PUVs) are now operated by cooperatives and corporations or are owned by operators who have applied for consolidation before the Dec. 31, 2023 deadline.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Member Riza Paches said 145,721 PUVs, or 76 percent of all PUVs operating in fixed routes nationwide, are consolidated or have applied for consolidation.

Specifically, Paches said the consolidation rate for public utility jeepneys (PUJs) has reached 73.9 percent while UV Express (UVE) units reached 82 percent.

She said the National Capital Region has reported the highest number of last-minute consolidation applications, with 97 percent of registered PUVs having complied with the consolidation requirement.

We have 21,655 consolidated PUJs out of 22,284 confirmed units, and for UVEs we have almost 100 percent consolidation compared to confirmed units,” Paches said.

These confirmed units are PUVs that have valid franchises or other necessary documentary requirements.

She said the consolidation applications received by the LTFRB exceeded their projections.

“Overall, we projected around 18,026. But after Dec. 31, 2023 those who consolidated and applied for consolidation were 25,629 units. This makes up 142 percent of what we projected,” Paches said.

She said the consolidation campaign was “successful,” especially during the last stretch of December last year.

“The government agencies that have been opening up their offices, relaxing certain policies and requirements, and even reaching out to all these transport operators, was to the LTFRB’s perspective, effective in trying to reach more than what we expected,” Paches said.

LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III said while some unconsolidated PUVs would be allowed to operate until Jan. 31, they would not be allowed to register with the Land Transportation Office beyond that date without joining a transport cooperative or company.

The LTFRB provides a confirmation to the LTO, which they would use as the basis for their registration as PUV. But if they’re not consolidated, they will not be given confirmation so they won’t be able to register,” Guadiz said.

However, Office of Transportation Cooperatives chair Andy Ortega assured PUV operators and drivers affected by the consolidation drive that the government would provide them with due process.

He encouraged drivers who worked for operators who failed to consolidate, to join transportation cooperatives and companies to continue working as PUV drivers. – PNA