LTFRB-7 : No more free rides for now
LTFRB-7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. explained that this is to allow the transition of payouts until June 30, 2021.

LTFRB-7 : No more free rides for now

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - June 17, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Effective yesterday, June 16, the government’s free ride service for healthcare workers and authorized persons outside residence (APORs) under the service contracting program of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board was temporary stopped.

LTFRB-7 Director Eduardo Montealto Jr. explained that this is to allow the transition of payouts until June 30, 2021.

“Yes, undang sa effective June 16, 2021 kay mag-process pa mi sa bayranan sa mga drivers ug operators nga niapil ani nga program,” said Montealto.

Montealto said that under the law, the service contracting good until June 30, 2021 and all unused funds will be returned to the national treasury.

He said operators and drivers joining this program are entitled to receive P82 per kilometer (30 percent for the driver and 70 percent for the operator) as a subsidy from the government.

A total of 90 buses, 200 modernized jeepneys and 250 traditional jeepneys joined this program, said Montealto.

When asked about when the program will be resumed, he said: “We will see by July 1, 2021 basin mabalik na ni. But as of now, I have no idea pa kung kanus-a gyud mabalik ang programa.”

It can be recalled that Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III formally launched the program in Cebu last month.

According to DOTr, the program, which started in Metro Manila and has since expanded nationwide, is in line with the directive of Tugade to help essential workers in their commuting needs and somehow ease their financial burden amid the pandemic.

Under the program, financial incentives are given to participating drivers who are already “onboarded” apart from payment to them for the kilometer run they make.

Pursuant to Republic Act No. 11494, or better known as Bayanihan to Recover As One, the service contracting program aims to ensure reliable and safe public transportation for commuters.

The law also says that the LTFRB may hire additional personnel as necessary to effectively expand these free ride services.

The service contracting program was implemented to provide additional revenue for drivers and operators affected by the implementation of public health and safety protocols caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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