LTFRB vows to assist small jeepney operators in modernization shift

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has committed to assist small operators of traditional jeepneys in the government's public utility vehicle modernization program.

LTFRB Technical Division chief Joel Bolano said the assistance ranges from setting up cooperatives and corporations to make it easier for small jeepney operators to shift to modern jeepneys that is being eyed by the national government.

MB File photo

He said the LTFRB's Office of the Transport Cooperative (OTC) will in charge in assisting them.

“Aside from that, we also have the Project Management Office that is focused on the PUVMP. Its objective is to assist and guide stakeholders for the requirements and processes of consolidation,” said Bolano.

The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program is aimed at transforming Philippine roads into a safer and climate-friendly areas to eventually reduce gas emissions and improved the quality of life in urban areas.

On Monday, Feb. 6, the LTFRB Board has extended anew the compliance to the modernization program by extending the validity of jeepney franchises since only 60 percent of jeepney operators were able to shift to modern jeepneys.

Jeepney operators have been complaining of high cost in shifting to modern jeepneys.

The government is eyeing at least 95 percent compliance before aggressive action on modernization is pushed like cancellation of franchises of traditional jeepneys which would lead to jeepney phase out.

Bolano, however, said that the traditional jeepney will not be totally phased out.

He said that while the physical features of traditional jeepneys would be allowed, they have to undergo transformation to be modernization compliant.

“The objective of the PUVMP is to modernize and change the system in the transport sector, including fleet modernization or upgrading the units,” he said.

The LTFRB is yet to set the final deadline of the traditional jeepney franchise cancellation.

“We will just wait for the final date up to when the extension of their authority to operate will be. This will be part of the new memorandum circular that we will issue very soon,” said Bolano.