DOTr, LTFRB To Continue with PUV Modernization Program
It seems the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising Board (LTFRB) are actually in sync to implement the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).
“We shall continue with the PUV Modernization Program. For the sake of this country, let us have political will. No delays, no postponement, let us get this done,” said DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade in a statement issued by his agency.
Meanwhile, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra gave his full support to the project, and accepted Secretary Tugade’s challenge: “Challenge accepted. Haharapin ko ng buong tapang. Walang duda, mahirap po ito. Marami ang kontra at nag-aalinlangan. Pero sa tingin ko naman po, mas maraming makikinabang. (We’ll face it with full courage. No doubt, it will be hard. There are many who are against it and are hesitant. But I think many more would benefit from it).”
“Maybe some sectors do not see the urgent need in this now, as it is natural for people to fight change, but they will see the full benefits and beauty soon enough,” he added.
The LTFRB Chairman also showed full resolve in implementing the PUV Modernization program now.
“Allow us to state categorically that the PUV Modernization Program is a go. It is currently being implemented, as it is happening now. Not in another decade, but now,” Delgra added.
Recently, the two transport officials were reported to have differing views on the implementation of the PUV Modernization. According to Inquirer.net, Delgra wanted to postpone the program as said by Senator Grace Poe, while Secretary Tugade insisted on pushing through with its implementation.
However, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport Mark De Leon clarified that the two didn’t say anything about the project being postponed or delayed–only that they are reviewing the timeline that mandates franchises to be consolidated by March 2019.
“The March 2019 is a timeline, not a deadline, bearing in mind that the transition period is until June 2020–three years after the launching of the PUVMP and the signing of the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG). Units are really not going to be replaced and franchises are not going to be cancelled,” De Leon said.
“Ang pinag-uusapan lang po natin dito ay consolidation ng units na kasalukuyan na po nating ginagawa. (What we’re saying here is only the consolidation of units that we are currently doing),” he added.
Currently, individual operators are being encouraged to merge before they can participate in the PUVMP. However, those with current franchises who are unable or unwilling to participate in the PUVMP after March 2019 will retain their validities during–and until–the end of the transition period.