Over 60,000 PUVs may be phased out

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
Over 60,000 PUVs may be phased out
Transport group PISTON alongside jeepney drivers and operators announces a three-day strike from November 20-23, 2023 at the Commission on Human Rights in Quezon City, Nov. 15, 2023
Video grab from PISTON's Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Over 60,000 public utility vehicles (PUVs) could be phased out as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) officially issued an order revoking the franchises of units that do not comply with the consolidation requirement.

Under Memorandum Circular 2023-051, all provisional authorities issued to individual operators and for routes without consolidated transport service entities (TSE) will be deemed revoked by Jan. 1, 2024.

The MC was signed by the Board on Dec. 14, the first day of the transport strike and the dialogue with Board officials.

Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) president Mody Floranda said the country could face a transport crisis if the year-end consolidation deadline is imposed.

Floranda added that they were blindsided by the issuance of the memorandum as they were just in dialogue with LTFRB chairman Teofilo Guadiz, where they expressed their demand to suspend the consolidation deadline.

“We were just talking to him yesterday, he himself initiated the dialogue so we were surprised. We were asking if the deadline can be suspended and we were surprised the MC was signed, saying that we are no longer allowed to operate,” the transport leader said.

Under the MC, units will not be allowed to register as PUVs and operators shall be issued a show cause order.

TSEs that have filed application for consolidation are allowed to continue to operate under their existing provisional authority until Dec. 31, 2024 or upon the issuance of a certificate of public convenience.

Floranda said they are consulting with their legal counsel to possibly question the omnibus franchising guidelines of the PUVMP.

He said they will continue protest action, including another transport holiday and rallies, until President Marcos heeds their call.

Fewer routes affected

There were fewer routes paralyzed by the transport strike on its second day yesterday, according to reports from the government.

Both the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported lack of passenger jeepneys at the routes between Pasig and Quiapo, Guadalupe and Leon Guinto and Quiapo to Kalentong.

Jeepney drivers at the Guadalupe-Leon Guinto route who joined the strike, apparently members of Piston, were directing stranded passengers where to catch other jeepneys.

At past 4 p.m., the MDRRMO sent a rescue vehicle to carry stranded commuters in the Quiapo-Kalentong route.

Meanwhile, the MMDA sent a transporter to carry 16 passengers for the Quiapo-Pasig route, as well as a bus for 50 passengers for the Pasig-Quiapo route. — Ghio Ong, Emmanuel Tupas

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