Zubiri hits bureacracy in PUV modernization plan of gov't

Published July 30, 2021, 5:27 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri lamented on Friday, July 30, the “unnecessary” bureaucracy in the government’s Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program.

Jeepney driver Ricardo Legaspi lives inside his vehicle with his family after the lockdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic stopped his only source of income. (Alvin Kabisan / MANILA BULLETIN File Photo)

“The transport sector is facing a real paradigm change, in terms of PUV modernization. But bureaucracy is making it unnecessarily hard for them to effectively modernize,” he said in a statement.

Zubiri particularly cited complaints from transport cooperatives about delays in the Local Public Transportation Route Plan (LPTRP) by local government units.

The Senate leader, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Cooperatives, said he spoke with transport cooperatives in the Visayas about their woes in getting loans.

The LPTRP details the route network, modes of transport, and the required number of units per mode for delivering public transport in an LGU.

It is a requirement in opening and securing franchises from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and in getting loans from government banks for the purchase of modern PUVs.

Zubiri said the cooperatives were made to process “time-consuming documentary requirements” by the Development Bank of the Philippines and the Land Bank of the Philippines, “thereby delaying loan approvals for modernized jeeps.”

“Our transport coops are willing and ready to modernize, so why are we making it hard for them?” he lamented.

Noting the Ease of Doing Business Act, he said the modernization process should be made “as swift and easy as possible”.

He pointed out that the three-year consolidation process for the PUV Modernization Program has ended last April.

Zubiri disclosed that he will file his own version of a bill to institutionalize the PUV modernization program but would ease the rules for loans.

He said he will also file a measure to establish a “Transportation Cooperatives Development Fund” to serve as financial assistance for the transport sector amid the PUV modernization.