Traditional jeepney phaseout extended

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
Traditional jeepney phaseout extended
Drivers of traditional jeepneys wait for passengers at a terminal in Manila on February 3, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has extended the validity of the provisional authority or franchise for traditional jeepneys as it mulls changes to the public utility vehicle modernization program.

This means thousands of traditional jeepneys get to retain their routes. Their franchises were supposed to lapse end-March nationwide and end-April in Metro Manila to give way to the full implementation of the program.

The board will announce the date of the new deadline soon.

In an ambush interview yesterday at the LTFRB central office, board chairman Teofilo Guadiz III said only 60 percent of the target number of vehicles for modernization has complied with the requirements under the program such as industry consolidation into cooperatives, while the remaining 40 percent continue to ply routes using traditional jeepneys.

“The LTFRB board is still in the process of outlining the program based on our studies. We have had three extensions already and we are drafting another extension,” Guadiz said in Filipino.

“Everybody is not yet on board. We do not want to leave anybody behind,” he added, noting that the program targets at least 95 percent of the vehicles slated for upgrading.

The LTFRB had targeted 85,000 traditional jeepneys for modernization when the program first started, but the board said there have been changes to the figure. The board earlier said there are 25,000 traditional jeeps still outside the modernization program.

The board decided to extend the deadline to avert the possibility of a shortage of jeepneys if it fully implements the modernization program and bars traditional vehicles on the road, Guadiz said, adding that there may be changes to the guidelines such as industry consolidation which requires drivers and operators to consolidate into cooperatives or single entities.

Electronic tickets

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) yesterday started issuing tickets to traffic violators using its mobile handheld devices as part of a test run on digitalizing electronic temporary operator’s permit.

In a Feb. 1 memorandum to LTO regional directors nationwide, LTO chief Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo Tugade ordered law enforcers to use the “Law Enforcement Handheld Mobile Devices” and body cameras.

On the first day of implementation, LTO only released the number of apprehensions made by the LTO Central Office in its areas of operation in Philcoa, Litex and Kamias in Quezon City.

At least 22 violators were issued electronic tickets as of 1 p.m. Monday for common violations such as unfastening of seatbelts, failure to wear helmets and the wearing of substandard helmets.

At least 1,200 devices were deployed all over the country as part of the LTO’s efforts to digitalize the agency and rid opportunities for enforcers to engage in corruption.

Traffic enforcers were also made to wear body cameras as a deterrent to engaging in bribery.

The office aims to make the payment of citation tickets digital by allowing violators to pay their fines on the spot, as part of the second phase of its digitalization project.

Under the cashless payment option, violators may pay using the mobile handheld device through its QR code scanner or credit card swiper, allowing the public to pay their fines without needing to surrender their licenses.

LTO, Metro Manila mayors and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority have also agreed on a single ticketing system for violations committed in the metropolis.

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