The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has awarded a notice of compliance to this city’s Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) to pave the way for the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).
LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said that for Bacolod, some 22 routes have been identified and validated to cover 2,400 modern vehicle units.
“We would be able to transform the public transport landscape of Bacolod in the next three months. The routes, identified in partnership with the Department of Transportation and LTFRB, are those seen as viable and sustainable,” Delgra said during the Modern PUV Caravan held at SM City Bacolod.
The roadshow aims to engage the transport cooperatives and operators directly with the system of PUVMP, he said.
“It’s not just about shifting into new vehicle units, it’s the system itself that we want to change. We started January 2018 and we continue to implement it,” Delgra said.
The transition period will run until June 2020, and after it ends, “everything will be mandatory”, he said.
Delgra said the PUVMP would not happen without the support of the local government and the transport stakeholders themselves.
“We will assist you in forming cooperatives so you can apply for routes,” Delgra told the transport operators.
“I’d like to think that the operators are receptive. In fact, I’ve talked to a number of them. They’re very receptive, we just need continuing engagement in terms of what the program is all about, what the elements of modernization are,” Delgra added.
Earlier, the LTFRB said it would provide a five-percent equity, six-percent interest and a payment period of seven years for the modern jeepneys that cost around PHP1.2 million to PHP1.8 million.
During his talk, Delgra announced that units worth less than PHP1 million will also be available.
Also, the Congress agreed to provide an PHP80,000 subsidy per unit.
Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez, who spoke during the program, said he supports the PUVMP not only to provide the Bacolod commuters a safe and comfortable travel, but also to protect the environment.
“About 67 percent of air pollution is caused by jeepneys, that’s why I’m pushing for this. I hope that as soon as possible, we can start the implementation here in Bacolod,” said Lopez, who heads the City Council’s committee on environment and ecology.
As part of the program, the LTFRB also launched the “Tsuper Iskolar” with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
TESDA-Western Visayas Regional Director Gaspar Gayona introduced the assistance offered to transport cooperatives to provide their stakeholders with additional training through scholarships and livelihood training.
Four groups, including the Federation of Bacolod City Drivers Association, Sentrong Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Negros, United Negros Transport Cooperative and Pulupandan Transport Sector Consumer Cooperative, received certificates that will enable them to send scholars for TESDA trainings.
The caravan also included an exhibit of modern vehicles and gadget manufacturers that runs until Tuesday at SM City Bacolod. (PNA)