Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said the agency will distribute additional cash incentives to drivers of public utility vehicles (PUVs) under the government’s service contracting program.
Tugade said in an interview on Wednesday, May 5 that the additional incentives will be given to PUV drivers as a “thank you” for participating in the program, which served the riding public amid restrictions in public transport due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Tugade, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will grant a one-time incentive of P25,000 to drivers who are currently onboard the service contracting program as of April 30 this year. Meanwhile, those who will participate from May 1 to June 15 will be given P20,000.
Driver-participants can also receive P7,000 if they will log into the Service Contracting Driver app for five times a week.
“Ito po ay win-win para sa mga bus and jeepney operators and drivers, ito ay win-win para sa mga pasahero. Panalo ito para sa sambayanan (This is a win-win situation for bus and jeepney drivers, operators, as well as passengers. This is a victory for the public),” Tugade said.
The LTFRB earlier issued a separate memorandum circular that nearly doubled the per kilometer incentives of traditional and modernized jeepneys and public utility buses.
Under the memorandum signed on April 16, the LTFRB increased the weekly payout per kilometer for traditional and modernized PUJs to P27 from the previous rate of P11. For public utility buses, the rate will be raised to P45.50 from P23.10.
At least 60,000 PUV drivers are expected to benefit from the service contracting program, which aims to help them with their everyday operational expenses such as gasoline and boundary.
Some P5.58 billion worth of funds have been allotted for its implementation under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
Under this program, the government through the DOTr and LTFRB 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.