By Jerry Alcayde
CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently conducted a mandatory local public transportation route planning and management course for local government units in Mindoro.
The course is a requirement for the issuance of franchises for the different types of vehicles that will serve routes in Oriental and Occidental Mindoro.
Joanne Elmedolan, transportation development officer based in DOTr main office said she is confident that the capability trainings which they conducted will help formulate a comprehensive Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) consistent with the national government policy of promoting adequate, safe, reliable, efficient and environment-friendly Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs).
Participants to the trainings were composed mostly of planning personnel from the different municipalities in the two provinces and were done in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Elmedolan said the trainings were sanctioned by Department Order No. 2017-011 entitled “Omnibus guidelines on the planning and identification of public road transportation services and franchise issuance”, issued by Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade in June last year.
Under the guidelines, DOTr will be the lead government office that will set guidelines, criteria and procedure for capacity building assistance while cities and towns shall be responsible in collecting data, analyzing public transport supply and demand and identifying specific public transport supply gaps for travel within their territories.
Elmedolan said the local planners are now given six months within which to come up with their respective plans to be submitted to DOTr.
“The output of these planners is a key component of the franchise requirement in these provinces and we believe that the LGUs are in a better position to identify local public transport service requirements and formulate plans for improving inter-town and inter-province connectivity”, Elmedolan said during the culmination of the five-day training session at Filipiniana Hotel in Calapan City.
Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso V. Umali, Jr. and Vice-Governor Humerlito A. Dolor both hailed the DOTr initiative, but likewise appealed to Tugade and the Land Transportation
Franchising snd Regulatory Board to issue special permits to UV Express vans with pending franchise applications to minimize, if not eliminate the inconvenience to thousands of commuters who have to deal with the shortage of passenger vans particularly during peak seasons for travelling.