The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is set to roll out on Friday the initial implementation of its service contracting scheme for public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
LTFRB National Capital Region (NCR) Director Zona Tamayo said the program will be initially launched on three identified routes in the capital region for passenger buses, and modern and traditional public utility jeepneys.
“Magkakaroon tayo ng initial launching ng service contracting at ng direct cash benefit programs sa ating mga operators at drivers. Sisimulan ito sa Biyernes at sunud-sunod na iroroll-out sa ating mga target beneficiaries,” Tamayo said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay online forum.
(We will have the initial launching of service contracting and direct cash benefit programs for our operators and drivers. It will start on Friday and will be successively rolled out to our target beneficiaries.)
According to Tamayo, the program will begin in Metro Manila and will be enforced in other regions in the coming weeks.
The LTFRB earlier said that at least 60,000 PUV drivers are expected to benefit from the program that will allow them to enter into transport service contracts with the government to help in easing the impact of the pandemic in the transportation sector.
Under the proposed program, the government will provide the payouts for public transportation services where the operators or drivers are given performance-based subsidy based on vehicle-kilometers traveled and compliance with performance indicators.
Tamayo pointed out that the service contracting scheme will not only aid the operators and drivers affected by the health crisis but will also help raise the level of service, reliability, and efficiency in the country’s public transport system
“Ang layunin din into ay i-angat ang antas ng serbisyo — ang pagsiguro ng maingat na pagmamaneho, maayos na serbisyo sa mga pasahero — itong mga indicators ang magiging basehan rin para makuha nila ang kanilang subsidy,” she explained.
(The goal is also to raise the level of service such as ensuring safe driving and proper service to passengers — these indicators will also be the basis for them to be qualified for a subsidy.)
The program is in line with the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the “Bayanihan 2” where some P5.58 billion funding has been allotted and now downloaded to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for its implementation.
The DOTr and the LTFRB previously said that they will push for the continuation of the program until next year, as this will only run from October to December as indicated under Bayanihan 2.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases approved in September the implementation of the service contracting scheme to subsidize public transport operations, incentivize PUV operators to return, serve commuters, and restore the livelihood of displaced transport workers, among others.