Wednesday, July 17, 2024

DOTr Vows To Help Drivers Of Unconsolidated PUVs Find Employment

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DOTr Vows To Help Drivers Of Unconsolidated PUVs Find Employment

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The government will extend necessary assistance to all drivers of unconsolidated jeepneys and UV Express to find employment within transport cooperatives and corporations, the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) said Saturday.

Public utility vehicles (PUVs) that failed to consolidate last Dec. 31 and those plying the routes with no cooperatives can only operate until Jan. 31.

“(I)yong mga drivers who are driving or nagmamaneho noong mga sasakyan noong mga operators na hindi nag-consolidate – iyon naman iyong next phase sa amin (Our next phase is to help those drivers of units whose operators did not consolidate),” OTC Chairman Andy Ortega said during a news forum in Quezon City.

“Tutulungan po namin sila na magkaroon pa rin sila ng empleyo, na tuloy pa rin iyong kanilang trabaho being drivers (We will help them find employment and continue their jobs as drivers). But instead of driver-operator relationship, iiba na po iyan starting Feb. 1 (that will change starting Feb. 1),” he added.

Ortega said the affected drivers may join transport cooperatives or corporations to continue working as PUV drivers.

According to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), at least 190,000 units of PUVs have been consolidated across the country.

Since the start of the program in 2017, at least 1,728 cooperatives and corporations have been established.

Also during the same forum, LTFRB board member Riza Marie Paches allayed fears expressed by drivers and operators of traditional jeepneys that their units would be phased out at once.

Patches said all consolidated traditional jeepneys could still operate until they could be replaced with more environment-friendly vehicles 27 months after the issuance of their permit to operate.

“Habang nandoon pa at napatunayan natin na roadworthy pa iyan, doon sa consolidated units or sa consolidated entity magkakaroon pa po sila ng kaukulang taon para i-operate iyong lumang unit (So long as it is roadworthy, the consolidated units or those in a consolidated entity still have a certain amount of time to operate their old unit),” she added.

“Pero mayroon po siyang timeline na after 27 months (But it has a timeline that after 27 months), most likely all the units would have been converted or replaced by a new and modernized jeepney.”

Meanwhile, Ortega said the DOTr is addressing the Commission on Human Rights’ call for a “balanced and considerate approach” in the implementation of the PUV modernization program (PUVMP).

“Rest assured that in the program of modernization, we are addressing the points they made – the rights and what needs to be done. That’s why we are very conscious of what happens to those who did not consolidate,” he said. “They need to be guided – programs by the government to help those who did not go for the consolidation.”

Ortega said the DOTr would likewise assist the transportation operators who opted to apply for consolidation.

 

‘Improved dispatching’

With the PUVMP, Ortega said the country would see improved dispatching that may soon cater to the riding public round the clock.

“Iyong sinasabi po na fleet management or proper dispatching – ang ilalabas lang ng mga kooperatiba na sasakyan sa kalye iyong tama lang at iyong kailangan lang (In terms of fleet management or proper dispatching, what a cooperative will dispatch on the road would be the right number of vehicles depending on the demand),” he said.

Meanwhile, Ortega assured the public that these transport groups have the freedom to choose the suppliers of their vehicles amid concerns about pricey imported minibuses.

He added that the Marcos administration is urging more local manufacturers to join the PUVMP.

“Malaya po iyong ating mga kooperatiba na bumili/ mamili kung ano po iyong gusto nilang disenyo, quality or brand – nasa kamay iyan ng kooperatiba, wala pong ginagawang impluwensiya ang DOTr family natin ngayon, malaya po silang makapili (The cooperatives are free to choose what kind of design, quality, or brand they want – that’s in the hands of the cooperative and the DOTr is not influencing anyone on this subject),” he said. (PNA)