Amid continuous attempts to unseat it from power for good, the Philippines' "king of the road" lives on.
This, after the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has decided to extend the validity of the franchise of the traditional jeepney amid calls to postpone the full implementation of the jeepney modernization program in the country.
But LTFRB chairman Teofilo Guadiz III was quick to point out that this will be the last time that the franchise validity of traditional jeepneys will be extended.
Guadiz confirmed that the LTFRB Board is indeed leaning towards extending the validity of the franchise during its meeting on Monday, Feb, 6, since data revealed that only 60 percent of the targets for jeepney modernization were able to comply so far.
“We do not want to leave anybody so what we want is to have at least 95% on board if we continue this PUV modernization. We want to make sure that no one is left behind in the implementation of this program,” said Guadiz.
“However, during the meeting, we will also discuss the possibility of fully implementing the modernization program in areas where all jeepneys have already been modernized. But in areas where there are still jeepneys to be modernized, we will still stick to the traditional jeepney,” he added.
Guadiz said that the Board is yet to decide when the final deadline would be implemented.
Aside from slow compliance apparently due to the cost of the modernization, Guadiz said the Board also considered the present transportation woes in Metro Manila and other urban areas.
With the extension, he said the riding public would be given more access to transportation.
Amid complaints of the high cost of jeepney modernization, Guadiz said they are looking for ways to resolve it.
These include the possibility of providing about two or three cooperatives that jeepney operators and/or drivers can consolidate for each existing route.