Cebu News

PUVs’ service contracting program to resume in December

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman
PUVs� service contracting program to resume in December
Commuters wait for alternative modes of transportation along Aurora Boulevard in Cubao, Quezon City as public utility jeepneys (PUJs) are rarely seen due to the three-day transport strike on July 24, 2023.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman

CEBU, Philippines — The re-implementation of the Public Utility Vehicles’ Service Contracting Program is about to resume next month, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) announced Monday.

Its reimplementation will be spearheaded by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), LTFRB and in coordination with the Local Government Units (LGUs) throughout the country.

This is also with the help of several other government departments and agencies including the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC), Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (i-ACT).

The purpose of the said program is to increase the income of PUV operators of selected public vehicles through performance-based payout.  Along with this, the program is also expected to meet the needs of commuters to get more comfortable and reliable public transportation.

Guidelines in the implementation of this program have already been issued by LTFRB last November 16, 2023 via Memorandum Circular No.2023-048.

The Service Contracting Program (SCP) was initially implemented under Republic Act (RA) No.11494, otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, by the DOTr through LTFRB.

The SCP has been included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 or RA No. 11639 to be implemented in partnership with identified LGUs to facilitate the broad engagement of public transport cooperatives, associations, or corporations operating within their jurisdiction.

DOTr has transferred almost P7 billion to be used exclusively for the implementation of the SCP following the signing of MOA last March 10, 2022.

The implementation of the SCP Phase 3 in particular is expected to “ensure an efficient, safe and financially viable operation of public transportation.”

“It is part of the government's effort in response to high demand for public transport due to the lifting of national health emergencies. And increase the level of service on high demand corridors,” part of the memo signed by LTFRB chair, Atty. Teofilo Guadiz said.

Under this program, operators will operate under a farebox collection scheme and will be paid based on the actual trips served, maximum allowable trips per day as provided in the approved Service Plan, and kilometer (km) rate.

The PUV operators must strictly operate on their authorized and existing route. Routes will be an existing fixed intra-city route with several parameters.

Covered in the program are qualified Highly Urbanized Cities (HUCs), Independent Component Cities (ICCs), and Component Cities (CCs) with existing consolidated PUJ (TPUJ, FILCAB, and MPUJ), TUVE, and MUVE or shall have an application for consolidation duly received by the LTFRB. — (FREEMAN)

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