LTFRB urged to extend validity period of PUV modernization
City officials requested the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to extend the one-year compliance period of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program to substitute the old and existing units to five years from the issuance of the required provisional authority.
Under Resolution No. 577, series of 2021, local legislators asserted that there is a need for the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to consider that the time frame of the ongoing implementation of the PUV modernization program of one year is very straining or improbable to small or newly established transport cooperatives or corporations.
The council pointed out that like many other sectors that had been heavily impacted by the ongoing Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 pandemic, the transport sector has its own opportunities and financial losses due to the enforcement of various travel restrictions and the same just started to slowly recover with the easing up of the aforesaid restrictions.
However, the body added that the ongoing start up still does not equate to financial capability to secure the required units to replace the old and existing ones within a year or so.
Earlier, the LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2021-021 which provided the guidelines for the issuance of provisional authority to units of individual operators with pending applications for consolidation and those that failed to file an application for consolidation pursuant to the Omnibus Franchising guidelines and the procedures in the qualification and selection of applicants.
Further, procedures in the issuance of provisional authority of the said directive provides that the consolidated entity must comply with the undertaking to substitute the old and existing units within the one-year period pursuant to the said order.
According to the circular, within a period of 6 months, 25 percent of the total number of authorized units should already be substituted, while in 9 months, 50 percent of the total number of authorized units shall have been substituted and in 12 months, 100 percent of the total number of authorized units should be already substituted.
During the information campaign that was recently conducted by the concerned offices of the local government, the different transport cooperatives submitted a petition requesting that the full implementation of the PUV modernization program be deferred due to prevailing financial constraints of the various public utility vehicle cooperatives and corporations and that the transport sector has not yet actually recovered from the effects of the ongoing health crisis.
Moreover, the petition requested that the full implementation of the PUV modernization program be spread across a 5-year period instead of the 1-year period as contained in the aforesaid LTFRB order.
The council found merit to the request of the transport sector and it is to be noted that most of the transport cooperatives or corporations are newly established and are still at their learning and transition stages and that the same do not have sufficient funds or resources to be granted alone to acquired the required modernized units unless with the help of the government as their guarantor. – Dexter A. See