It’s already pretty obvious that the Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board have been pushing for the “Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program,” which aims to phase out the traditional Philippine jeepney and older UV Express vans.
The program was supposed to take effect back in 2020, but has been pushed back multiple times due to the pandemic and the resistance from multiple parties (most notably the drivers, the operators, and the transport groups that are unhappy regarding the implementation of said program). In fact, transport groups are planning to hold a weeklong protest starting March 6 against the program’s most recent deadline of June 30.
In response, the LTFRB has announced yet another date, which is now scheduled for December 31. This move was done with respect to Senate Resolution No. 44, which urged the agency to defer the phaseout “to allow the transport sector more time to consolidate,” as requested by Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista.
This makes sense because, as it stands, the general idea behind the phaseout to modernize our aging public transport is good, but then the program will require operators to consolidate their franchises under a Fleet Management System with at least 15 imported minibuses per route.
Without proper support from the government, the modernization program will prove to be a financial burden for those that cannot afford the initial costs and upkeep brought about by these newer vehicles. Do you want the modernization program to take over sooner, or are you in favor of delaying it for proper implementation?