On 19 June 2017, the Department of Transportation issued Department Order No. 2017-011 (Re: Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance) or the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), a flagship program of the Duterte administration which envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably.
The PUVMP is not merely a vehicle modernization program. It is a comprehensive system reform that will entirely change the public land transportation industry. It features a regulatory reform and sets new guidelines for the issuance of franchise for road based public transport services. It devolved the function of route planning to the local government units as they are more versed in the terrain and passenger demand within their respective territorial jurisdiction. The LGUs are required under the program to submit their own Local Public Transport Plan (LPTRP) as a pre-requisite for the opening of PUV franchises within their jurisdiction. Route rationalization studies will also be conducted to determine the appropriate mode, quantity and service characteristics of the public transport service in each corridor which will make the routes more responsive to passenger demand and ensure that the hierarchy of roads and modes of transportation are followed.
Among the major components of the PUVMP is fleet modernization. New vehicle standards are being developed which is based on extensive consultations with involved government agencies, jeepney associations and local and international manufacturers. The modern PUV are designed to be environment-friendly, safe, secure and convenient with due consideration to our Persons-with-Disabilities (PWDs) passengers. The PUVMP also encourages industry consolidation or the strategic merging of smaller transport industry players to form into a consortium either by forming cooperatives or corporations. The PUVMP likewise adopts a Vehicle Useful Life Program which consists of policies and programs that deal with different stages of the vehicle’s useful life. This includes the provision of a Motor Vehicle Type Approval System for new vehicles, maintenance programs and improvement of Motor Vehicle Inspection System and a Scrappage Program for end-of-life vehicles.
In order to soften the impact and assist small operators who will be affected by the PUVMP, a special loan program with Landbank and DBP is being proposed which will provide access to operators and drivers to adequate funding. Stakeholders will also have access to various trainings and social support programs which will be offered to enable them to be competent, self-sufficient and well-equipped with the necessary technical knowledge and skills.
The DOTr, LTFRB, LTO and OTC, as well as the other concerned agencies will conduct a Pilot Implementation in order to review and assess whether the new policies are responsive and efficient in achieving the program’s intended outcomes. The success of the program will revolutionize road-based public land transportation and will usher in an improved riding experience for the benefit of our present and future generations of Filipino passengers.
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