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LTFRB reiterates: ‘No phaseout’ in PUV modernization program

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna (PIA) – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region IV-A gave its assurance to the public that there will be ‘no phaseout’ of jeepneys in the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Interviewed at the Sulong Calabarzon program of the Philippine Information Agency, LTFRB Region IV-A Regional Director Renwick Rutaquio emphasized that the program does not seek to phase out traditional jeepneys but instead, replace units that are no longer roadworthy and emissions compliant. 
“Actually, there is no phaseout. We are trying to modernize, but we are not phasing out the units. Those old vehicles or jeepneys that are no longer permissible due to their age and no longer suitable because they are smoky and deteriorated will be replaced with new units,” Rutaquio said.
According to LTFRB, modern jeepneys should be equipped with at least Euro-4 emission compliant engine, complete with safety features such as dash cams, speed limiters, CCTV cameras, automatic fare collection system, and must adhere to the Philippine National Standards (PNS) approved by the Bureau of Philippine Standards.
This initiative eyes to streamline and organize the agonizing public road transportation system in the country and ensure a secure and comfortable travel experience not only for the commuters and drivers, but also benefitting the environment. 
He added: “That’s why we’re modernizing so that we can fix these no longer suitable vehicles that are still running until now, we are not doing a phaseout, we’re just changing the unit”.
In response to the appeal and proposal of few local manufacturers of jeepneys in the country to prioritize locally-made jeepneys for the PUVMP, Rutaquio explained that it is acceptable as long as the units are PNS-compliant.
“I personally have nothing to say, if we have locally-made, Philippine-made modern jeeps, as long as they pass our standards in the Philippine National Standards, if they meet the criteria and we can give them credit, I have nothing to say about that but we should patronize our own product if we already have, and if there are units that successfully meet the PNS, they are very welcome”.
Based on the latest report by the Board, there are 591 routes for Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJ) and 29 routes for UV Express to be consolidated throughout the country. However, since the second week of January 2024, only 425 PUJ routes and 24 UV Express routes have been consolidated.
Rutaquio assured the commuting public that transportation situation in the Calabarzon region will not pose problems in February 2024 as 79 percent of jeepneys and 82 percent of UV Express were already consolidated and could address the transportation needs of the passengers in the region.
He then reminded the drivers and operators yet to be consolidated that the consolidation deadline would not be further extended to prevent delays that might affect the majority of PUV operators, banks, financial institutions and the public.
Although there is no extension, Rutaquio assured affected drivers and operators that the government is ready to provide assistance through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to secure their livelihood.
“They can be assisted by the government through the use of the livelihood packages from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). We can also help by privatizing their old units that are no longer usable. They can apply for private plates so that they can still use them. The best approach is to repurpose their vehicles for private use.” (CO/PIA-4A)
Sulong Calabarzon is a weekly public affairs program hosted by the Philippine Information Agency Calabarzon, streaming live every Thursday, 2:00 PM via the Philippine Information Agency Calabarzon Facebook page.

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