TPUJ operators given until today to comply papers

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - April 19, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM) is giving all traditional public utility jeepney drivers and operators until today, April 19, to process the necessary requirements and present these during checkpoint inspection.

TEAM executive director Edwin Jumao-as in his memorandum said that the documents needed before operators and drivers can resume their operations include special permit to operate from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office, TEAM clearance and negative result of RT/PCR test or swab test.

“Failure to present these to the inspecting traffic personnel will be issued with a traffic citation ticket with the corresponding violation/s,” Jumao-as said.

On the other hand, LTFRB-7 regional director Eduardo Montealto said that so far there are 450 traditional jeepneys in Cebu that are currently operating and majority are operating in Cebu City.

The LTFRB-7 has allowed more than 1,700 units of traditional jeepneys to travel within Cebu City as well as several units from the cities of Talisay, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue and in Cebu Province.

“Pero gamay ra ang nibiyahe kay kaning mga operators sa traditional jeepneys nag-consolidate na man ni sila to operate a modernized jeepneys. Kay gasto baya kung mag operate og traditional jeepneys kay kinahanglan mopasar gyud ang unit sa road worthiness test,” Montealto said.

The deadline for consolidation of traditional PUJs either as a cooperative or are fleet-managed ended on March 31, 2020. The original deadline was on June 30, 2020 but was reset to December 30, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Montealto said that majority of the traditional jeepneys operators in Cebu have already consolidated in compliance with the Department of Transportation's Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

Montealto said that Cebu has around 7,000 registered jeepneys wherein 4,000 of these are in Cebu City alone. The number however is already dwindling with the emergence of the modernized jeepneys.

The consolidation would mean lesser jeepneys and more modernized jeepneys.

Montealto, however, said that traditional jeepney operators who operate as solo/single operator who did not consolidate has until the end of the year to operate.

But their franchise, Montealto said, will be given anytime to those operators who have consolidated their units.

Montealto added that Cebu now has 650 units of modernized jeepneys and 872 buses running and more are expected to operate in the next few years and will continue until the end of the year.

He said that within this month or next month, more than 200 modernized jeepneys are expected to travel within the tri-cities as their documentary requirements are still on process.

Montealto has emphasized earlier that traditional jeepneys will not stay forever as eventually they will be phased out as their numbers will be replaced by the modernized jeepneys.

“Dili na sila forever. Hinay-hinay gyud na silang mahurot,” Montealto had said.

He expects a total of 4,000 units of modernized jeepneys will gradually on the streets this year.

LTFRB has increased in equity subsidy for PUV operators that are members of transport cooperatives and corporations eligible to purchase modernized vehicles under the PUVMP.

The PUVMP seeks to provide safer, more comfortable and environmentally sustainable mode of public transport to commuters by upgrading vehicles to meet international safety, energy efficiency and emission standards.

Through the DOTr’s Department Order 2020-006 signed on June 5, 2020, existing PUV operators with valid franchises and PUV operators applying for new and developmental routes under the PUVMP are qualified for an equity subsidy in the fixed amount of P160,000 from the original P80,000. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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