Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has urged public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers to register and participate in the service contracting program being pushed by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
“The sector of PUV drivers is one of the most hit hard by the pandemic, hence, we would like to help them recover,” Tugade said in a statement.
According to Tugade, through the program, they will be able to assist the drivers affected by the pandemic to gain additional income by giving them performance-based incentives.
Apart from financial aid, Tugade pointed out that the department’s new subsidy program will also help in raising the level of service, reliability, and efficiency in the country’s public transport system.
The LTFRB is currently holding a general registration and orientation activity for the service contracting program at the Quezon City Memorial Circle Covered Basketball Court until Sunday, Nov. 29.
General registration and training for the service contracting program are simultaneously being held in different regions nationwide, such as in Caraga and Regions 1, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
“I am calling on our drivers to participate in this program, to enable the government to help them recover their lost income due to the pandemic. Please go to Quezon City Circle and register. Please do not waste this golden opportunity,” the DOTr chief added.
Driver-applicants who would like to join the program should present the original and photocopies of their professional driver’s license, a certificate signed by their operator that proves they are a designated PUV driver, two photocopies of their operator’s valid ID with three signatures, and a photocopy of the official receipt or Certificate of Registration of their designated PUV.
They must also comply with the health and safety protocols being implemented at the event site, such as submitting a health declaration and contract tracing forms before entry, wearing of face shield and face mask, and strict social distancing measures.
Some P5.58 billion has been allotted for the implementation of the program under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or the Bayanihan 2 to help more drivers which are among the hardest-hit by months of lockdown which suspended all forms of public transportation.
Under the program, the government will provide payouts for public transportation services where PUV operators and drivers will be given a performance-based subsidy according to vehicle-kilometers traveled and compliance with performance indicators.
Different rates per kilometer have been set by the Board for each kind of PUVs. Drivers or operators of traditional and modern public utility jeepneys (PUJs) will get P11 per kilometer while drivers or operators of passenger buses will get P23.10 per kilometer.
The subsidy, LTFRB said, will be based on the total of the kilometers ran for the day which will be disbursed weekly to the drivers through the Land Bank of the Philippines.
At least 60,000 PUV drivers are expected to benefit from the program which aims to aid in their everyday operational expenses such as gasoline, boundary, and other expenses to help them abide by the quarantine protocols.