OTC reports Jeepney operators and drivers meet franchise consolidation deadline at the last minute

Jeepney groups protest implementation of Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program

On Sunday, December 31, three jeepney groups, made up of hundreds of operators and drivers, protested the final day of the franchise consolidation for the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) at the Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) in Quezon City.

OTC Chairman Jesus “Andy” Ortega expressed his happiness that the jeepney operators and drivers took the opportunity to participate in the PUVMP despite the challenges it has faced. “On this day, there are last-minute applicants. Three groups beat the deadline. I am elated that the third group has more than 200 franchise holders and operators,” Ortega said in a radio interview with dzBB.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will consolidate the number of operators and drivers who agreed to form a cooperative or corporation for the jeepney modernization program, including the last-minute applicants on Sunday, with the deadline set at 5 p.m.

Ortega also mentioned the increase in the consolidation rate in the National Capital Region and nationwide, emphasizing that every number added is a good sign for the program.

The industry consolidation is one of the 10 components of the PUVMP, which is being implemented by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). The program aims to modernize traditional jeepneys aged 15 years and older, but the move has been criticized by transport groups due to the high cost of modernizing the traditional vehicles.

Despite the opposition, Ortega assured that the government respects the decision of the operators who have not consolidated their franchises. He also pledged to find jobs for the displaced drivers and ensure they can continue to ply their routes.

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