The chief of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Region 10 (LTFRB-10) called on the riding public on Friday (March 6) to patronize the new fleet of modernized public utility vehicles (PUVs) now plying the region.
LTFRB-10 Director Aminoden Guro issued the call with only a few months left before the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) is set to go full blast in June.
“Our riding public should start to patronize these modernized PUVs as these will now be the country’s mode of mass transport in the coming months and years,” Guro said.
In this city, 15 mini-buses belonging to the Oro Transport Service Cooperative have begun operation in January this year ferrying passengers to the adjoining Opol town, Misamis Oriental.
In June last year, Donsals Express rolled out 15 air-conditioned coasters plying the route in Initao town, also in Misamis Oriental.
Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI), one of the biggest bus operators in Mindanao owned and operated by the Yanson Group of Bus Companies, also introduced an initial 15 bus units for the Balingasag-Laguindingan route during the Misamis Oriental launch of the PUVMP held at the Provincial Capitol grounds on Friday.
Meanwhile, Guro reminded PUV operators who have yet to organize themselves into a corporation or cooperative to start the application process lest they lose their franchise and their established routes.
“I am encouraging our transport groups to switch to PUVMP so they will not be left behind,” he added.
Although ordering a fleet of modernized PUVs may take some time due to the number of public utility jeepney units that will be replaced, Guro said operators must be ready once the new PUVs arrive from the manufacturers.
He said there are about 200,000 PUJ units set to be phased out by June this year, although he added the sheer volume of PUJs that will be replaced will mean the transition will not be that immediate.
Several firms that have already initially complied with the PUMP directive said they are adjusting their services based on the results of their nascent operations.
Celer Estologa, RTMI media relations officer, said: “We are improving our services based on the mobility needs of the riding public, especially those passengers going to the Laguindingan Airport.”
RTMI’s decision to go into the intra-provincial route, Estologa said, is “in accord with the modernization program of the government to provide safe, comfortable, and modern fleet.”
Donald Rey Ellarina, Donsals Transport Corp. chief executive officer, has assured the passengers they will not see an immediate fare hike.
“We want to continue providing better services to our passengers without implementing an increase,” Ellarina said, noting that based on initial assessment, passengers commonly prefer new and air-conditioned PUVs over the older PUJs. (PNA)