DOTr, LTFRB relaunch Service Contracting Program for affected PUV operators

Published September 10, 2021, 3:10 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Operators of qualified public utility vehicles (PUVs) will start getting incentives from the national government as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) relaunched on Friday, September 10, the Service Contracting Program (SCP).

(Public service announcement from DOTr, LTFRB)

Under the program, operators will get from the national government a one-time incentive of P5,000 per unit as well as a weekly payout, depending on the predetermined weekly amount, in accordance with their route service plan.

The program aims to help operators tide over their “decreased income” caused by health measures enforced in public transportation to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The program was first implemented under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act starting last year until June 2021, with about P5.5 billion in funding and PUVs as beneficiaries.

SCP’s implementation was just extended—this time under the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA)—after the national government saw the positive effect of the program “particularly to the lives of the transport drivers and operators, as well as to the commuting public as a whole.”

LTFRB said the extended program, which is now focused on helping PUV operators, will get a P3 billion-budget and will run until December 2021 “or until all the funds allotted are exhausted.”

The extension of the program also means that health workers and qualified APORs (authorized persons outside residence) will continue to enjoy free rides amid limited mass transportation, the DOTr and LTFRB said.