LTFRB-7: Over 1,300 MPUJ units ply Central Visayas
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) launched on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, five additional modern public utility jeepneys (MPUJs) that will ply the Liloan to Cebu City via Cansaga route.
These five additional MPUJ units completed the 60-unit fleet of the KTTS Corporation.
According to Eduardo Montealto, Jr., director of LTFRB 7, there are currently 1,332 MPUJs operating on various routes in the region. Around 95 percent of them are stationed in Cebu, with 115 more in Negros Oriental and ten more in Bohol.
“Sa una duna tay [deployed] sa Bohol nga 20 units, sa Panglao. Gi pull-out nato tungod atong pandemic mao tong nabalhin diri sa Cebu,” he said.
55 transport cooperatives
Montealto said there are also 55 registered transport cooperatives and corporations in Cebu as of August.
The filing of application for consolidation by individual and existing transport franchise holders is among the requirements set by the government under its Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
“Naay mga multi-purpose cooperatives nga ni-apply for transportation [cooperatives], pero ning apply pa ni sila karon sa amendment sa ilang cooperative. Pwede mag form og cooperative, pero dili pa kasiguro kung makakuha mo og rota kay naa may existing nga operators na,” he told CDN Digital.
The government initiated the PUVMP in 2017, in its bid to transform the country’s public transportation system.
However, despite its goal of providing the public with dependable, comfortable, accessible, environmentally friendly, and sustainable public transportation, the program is met with several challenges that impede its implementation.
These include the operator’s concern about the expensive cost of acquiring MPUJ units, even with the loan assistance scheme of the government.
Extension on consolidation deadline
Montealto, however, told CDN Digital on Wednesday, August 9, that it is unlikely to have another extension on the consolidation deadline, which was set on December 31, 2023.
Although, he clarified that the deadline does not indicate a traditional public utility jeepney (TPUJ) phaseout.
“Walay phaseout sa mga traditional PUJ,” he said.
“Maka-consolidate ka bisan wala pa ka naka replace sa imong units, makadagan gihapon mo beyond December 31. Katong wala nag consolidate, kato moy dili nato mahibaw-an kung unsay guidelines after December 31. Mao ng gi-encourage tanan nga mag consolidate,” he said.
Montealto said operators of about 800 TPUJs in the region have yet to consolidate as of now. Though, not all of these are currently operating. /rcg
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