LTFRB addresses service contracting program payout controversy

Published May 21, 2021, 1:27 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has clarified issues on the payout for bus operators and drivers participating in the government’s service contracting program.

(MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In a statement, the LTFRB said it has already distributed a total of P156,694,046.42 in weekly payouts and one-time incentives to bus drivers under the program.

Of the amount, some P140,458,451.63, or almost 90 percent of the weekly payouts were released to bus drivers on the EDSA Busway.

LTFRB Executive Director Joel Bolano belied claims that the payout was only disbursed to bus operators under the Mega Manila Consortium Corporation (MMCC).

According to Bolano, the following companies have also received incentives from the LTFRB: Dela Rosa Transit Corp., P92,055; JAM Liner, Inc., P564,943.69; Philippine Tourister Inc., P2,074,833.75; Bataan Transit & Laguna Starbus, P3,238,595.25; and PAMANA Transit, P200,640.

Meanwhile, weekly payouts of the Saint Rose Transit Inc. and the Laguna Starbus are currently being audited by the agency, the official added.

Bolano explained that the free ride service along EDSA Busway under the service contracting program was only launched last April 7 as a way to ferry essential workers and medical frontliners during the implementation of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Based on the latest data from the LTFRB, the total ridership of the DOTr’s free ride service program, including its “Libreng Sakay” along the EDSA Busway, has already topped seven million as of May 19.

The LTFRB released last month an order which almost doubled the weekly payout per kilometer to be received by the driver-participant.

The agency also announced that it will grant a one-time incentive of P25,000 to drivers who were already on board 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 five times a week.

 
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