No TRO on PUV consolidation December 31 deadline — SC

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
No TRO on PUV consolidation December 31 deadline � SC
This photo shows two jeepneys in Manila.

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court has not issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Consolidation on December 31.

This means that implementation of the PUV consolidation, which transport groups previously said would remove the livelihood of jeepney operators and drivers, will continue to roll at the end of 2023. 

This is after the SC required the Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to comment on the petition filed by Piston-led transport groups on December 20.

“NOW, THEREFORE, You, respondents DOTr and LTFRB are hereby required to COMMENT on the petition and on the urgent application for a TRO and/or writ of preliminary injunction within a NON- EXTENDIBLE period of 10 days from notice hereof,” the court’s resolution read.

The high court gave both the agencies 10 days to respond to the petition.

Piston-led transport groups’ petition on December 20 asked the SC to declare all the memorandum circulars related to the consolidation “null and void” as they argued that it violates certain constitutional rights. 

Meanwhile, the LTFRB issued a new memorandum circular (MC) signed on December 22, that allowed unconsolidated jeepney, UV Express and Filcab units to operate until Jan.31, 2024.  However, they are not allowed to consolidate into cooperatives or corporations as the Dec. 31, 2023 deadline remains.

Before the new MC was issued, the unconsolidated PUV’s will be prohibited from operating starting Jan. 1, 2024.

"In order not to hamper the operation of public transportation routes without consolidated [transportation service entity], the individual operators in said routes shall be allowed to operate until 31 January 2024," the new MC read.

As of writing, lawyers from the Bayan Muna Party-list and the National Union of People’s Lawyers filed another urgent petition for TRO asking the high court once again to halt the implementation of the PUV consolidation.

Citing data from the DOTr, research group IBON Foundation said that 71,395 public utility jeepneys and UV Express units nationwide have not been consolidated, consisting of 64,639 PUJs and 6,756 UVE units.

According to the research group, this means that 140,000 drivers and operators will be affected by the consolidation. 

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