DOTr to unconsolidated PUVs: Accept government livelihood programs

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
DOTr to unconsolidated PUVs: Accept government livelihood programs
Motorists and commuters experience heavy traffic along the southbound lane of Kamuning and the westbound lane of Philcoa in EDSA, Quezon City as work resumes on April 1, 2024.
Michael Varcas / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista is urging unconsolidated public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and drivers to avail themselves of the government’s livelihood programs as it starts its anti-colorum drive.

Bautista said PUV operators and drivers who failed to meet the April 30 deadline for consolidation can avail of programs towards alternative sources of income.

He noted that the government provides free skills training, skills assessment and entrepreneurship training.

“We have programs called ‘EnTSUPERneur’ and ‘Tsuper Iskolar,’ wherein they will be taught by TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), and give them training for other livelihood opportunities,” Bautista said.

“For those who are no longer able to operate, we are happy to give them training for other sources of livelihood,” he added.

The Tsuper Iskolar program provides scholarship grants in line with the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).

Meanwhile, EnTSUPERneur, in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, provides alternative sources of income for drivers.

Bautista noted that unconsolidated drivers and operators can still join other cooperatives, but they may no longer form their own.

Unconsolidated transport groups said they will continue to ply their routes even as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has ordered the crackdown on colorum vehicles.

The LTFRB said that around 10,000 have not consolidated nationwide, including 1,900 jeepneys in Metro Manila.

No apprehension… yet

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is not taking part in running after jeepneys that failed to join the franchise consolidation under the PUVMP and could be tagged as unauthorized or colorum.

MMDA traffic enforcers have not apprehended drivers and operators of unconsolidated jeepneys “because the DOTr has not given us guidelines to determine who to apprehend,” it said.

At present, the MMDA is “not allowed to flag down” suspected unconsolidated jeepneys “unless there is a moving violation” such as speeding and drunk driving.

The agency announced this despite an agreement with the DOTr and the Department of the Interior and Local Government that formed a task force against colorum vehicles.

In a previous operation in the cities of Pasay and Parañaque, MMDA enforcers issued tickets to some jeepney drivers for illegal parking along the Roxas Boulevard service road. — Ghio Ong

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