âPlant trees, get PUV franchiseâ
Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2020-076, which takes effect on Dec.1, the Board requires franchise applicants to plant one tree for every unit being registered.
STAR/ File
‘Plant trees, get PUV franchise’
Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - November 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Tree planting will now be a requirement when applying for or renewing transport franchises for all public utility vehicles (PUVs), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said yesterday.

Under LTFRB Memorandum Circular 2020-076, which takes effect on Dec.1, the Board requires franchise applicants to plant one tree for every unit being registered.

The circular initially covers all applicants for the issuance of a new certificate of public convenience (CPC) with at least 10 units, as well as all corporations and cooperatives applying for the extension of their existing franchise.

Some 50,000 trees are expected to be planted in the first three months of implementation of the new LTFRB order.

Eventually, the new policy shall cover all applicants with a minimum of 10 units that will have transactions with the LTFRB.

For context, there are about 170,000 public utility jeepneys (PUJs), 26,000 utility van (UV) express units, an estimated 25,000 public utility buses (PUBs) and 35,000 transport network vehicle service (TNVS) operating in the country.

Operators will have to secure proof of compliance and corresponding photographs of the trees that they planted as part of their application requirements.

They shall coordinate with the local government unit (LGU) where they hold business or the concerned area office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the proof of compliance.

The LTFRB said failure to attach the new requirements means that their application will not be accepted.

The LTFRB said that successive natural disasters this year called for drastic measures and coordinated measures between government agencies and private stakeholders.

The board agreed to initiate efforts to plant trees as a pre-condition for the issuance of CPCs as part of its responsibility to protect the environment.

Just last week, following the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade proposed that tree planting be one of the mandatory requirements to secure transport franchises, licenses and permits.

This will be the contribution of the transport sector in the reforestation program of the government.

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