Castelo Lauds Suspension of P2P Scheme for UV Express

The leadership of the House Committee of Metro Manila Development (MMD) recently lauded the suspension of the planned point-to-point scheme implementation of UV Express units.

House Committee chair Winston Castelo lauded the move of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), saying that it will provide stakeholders of the UV Express transport system enough time to prepare and adjust on the new policy.

Earlier, the House Committee requested for a two-week period before the LTFRB proceeds with the P2P scheme for UV Express during a consultation meeting between the agency and UV Express stakeholders, including their operators, drivers and patrons.

The LTFRB was supposed to enforce the P2P system this week.

"I thank the LTFRB for understanding and granting my request. For sure, two weeks would be enough time for members of the transport group and the commuting public to prepare for whatever effects the new scheme would have on them," Castelo said.

The lawmaker noted that "putting the new policy in effect without sufficient information drive would only cause trouble rather than help for the working driver and operators of UV Express and the riding public as well."

"So it's really good that the government as represented by the LTFRB is appreciating the value and importance of consultation on policies that affect the people," Castelo added.

The LTFRB recently announced a P2P scheme similar to the one adopted by metro buses will be enforced on UV Express units. Stakeholders of the transport group, however, complained that the scheme is too soon to be implemented.

"We're surprised about LTFRB's decision because we were not consulted. But it's okay now since we've been given sufficient time to prepare for it," the group said.

However, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier claimed that the targeted enforcement on the unloading and loading of passengers in their designation terminals is stated in their franchise.

DOTr Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddess Hope Olivers Libiran said that the memorandum is in line with original policy of the UV Express Service.

"This is not a new policy. LTFRB is just strictly enforcing the original policy of UV Express service. I understand this is stipulated in the terms and conditions of their franchise," she said.

LTFRB Chairman Atty. Martin Delgra III shared Libiran's sentiment, saying that the mode of service for UV Express vehicles is terminal to terminal. "The terminals are the endpoints, " Delgra explained.

He also said that the 2009 memorandum circulars wherein the pick and drop of passengers with the two-kilometer radius of terminal on both endpoint was launched, "the inherent difficulty in implementation was present."

Below is the LTFRB’s official statement on the issued last week :

"Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) signed Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2019-025 that orders all UV Express Service vehicles, effective 16 May 2019, to strictly operate on a terminal to terminal basis without loading and unloading in between origin and destination. This is in line with the original policy of UV Express service.

"UV Express units can only pick up and drop off passengers at their designated terminals and are prohibited from picking up and dropping off passengers anywhere in between the two terminals.

"The LTFRB has observed that numerous UV Express Services are in breach of the terms and conditions of their franchise, leading to the rampant practice of loading and unloading of passengers in between their origin and destination, prolonging the turn around travel time between destinations and making it very difficult on the part of the enforcers to implement the service."

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