The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) is the government’s response to address both the aggravating transport related problems and the future transportation demand of the country. On 19 June 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued Department Order No. 2017-011, otherwise known as the Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance or the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG), which launched the PUVMP. The program aims to fundamentally transform the public transport system in the country making both commuting and public transportation operations more dignified, humane, and on par with global standards. The program also aims to give a comfortable life for all Filipinos through providing a safer, more efficient, reliable, convenient, affordable, climate-friendly, and environmentally sustainable transportation system in the country. 

Executive Order No. 292, mandated the DOTr as the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating, implementing, and administrative entity of the executive branch of the of the Government on the promotion, development and regulation of a dependable coordinated network of transportation, as well as fast, safe, efficient, and reliable transportation services. The DOTr is empowered to call upon any agency, corporation or organization, whether public or private, whose development and programs include transportation as integral parts hereto, to participate and assist in the preparation and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated programs for transportation.

The LTFRB, as an agency under the administrative supervision and control of the DOTr, is promulgated to administer, enforce, and monitor compliance of policies, laws, and regulations of public land transportation services. Furthermore, the LTFRB is directed to prescribe and regulate routes, economically viable capacities and zones or areas of operations of public land transportation services provided by motorized vehicles in accordance with the public land transportation development plans by the DOTr.

On 19 June 2017, the DOTr issued Department Order No. 2017-011, otherwise known as OFG, which aims to provide reliable, safe, accessible, adequate, environment-friendly, dependable, efficient, and comfortable public road transportation throughout the country. Under Item 2.1 of the OFG, the LTFRB is tasked to implement the said Department Order and to encourage and require the consolidation of operators and the establishment of bigger coordinated fleets of public utility vehicles (PUVs).

To carry out the tasks relative to the planning, development, procurement, implementation, and monitoring of the Program, the Department Order 2018-024 was signed establishing the PUV Modernization Program – National Program Management Office (PUVMP-NPMO) and its Regional PMOs (PUVMP-RPMO). Under Section 8, Item 2 of DO 2018-024, the LTFRB, in addition to its mandate under the OFG to implement the Program, is mandated to be responsible in the conduct of transparent evaluation and approval of Local Public Transport Route Plans (LPTRPs). It shall also create and maintain a database and map of routes and ensure continuous updating of the same for future planning and updating. In addition, it shall also be responsible for capacity building and industry consolidation of non-cooperatives.

The program is composed of ten (10) components that are comprised of the following:

Regulatory Reform – this launched the “Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance” or the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG) which serves as the guidelines in the issuance of franchises for public utility vehicles.

LGU Local Public Transport Route Planning (LPTRP) – the local government units are required to prepare their own LPTRP that will be implemented in their respective localities. Prior to doing so, the LGUs are to be capacitated for them to be able to formulate the route plan.

Route Rationalization – the route rationalization is a study that aims to provide rationalized and efficiently planned routes that would be responsive to the demands of the passenger. It is a comprehensive and strategic assessment of the current public transport based on passenger demand, location of major movement and future travel demand patterns.

The rationalization studies are for the inter-regional, inter-provincial (IRIP) and MUCEP area. The Route Rationalization Study for the Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Study (MMUTIS) Update and Capacity Enhancement Project (MUCEP) Area is a study that involves a comprehensive and strategic assessment of the current public transport services within the said area. The MUCEP area pertains to NCR and nearby provinces of Region 3 and Region 4A as part of the “Greater Metro Manila”.

The Inter-regional/inter-provincial Route Rationalization Study’s (IRIP) scope will cover all IRIP routes terminating at MUCEP cities as well as all IRIP routes between Regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, CAR and CARAGA.

Fleet Modernization – this component aims to ensure that all PUVs that take part in the program will follow modern policies which will complement what the traditional units lack.

Industry Consolidation – one of the major components of the program, this component will be realized through the formation of transport cooperatives or other legal entities wherein these entities will be entitled to benefits such as government subsidies and access to credit facilities, among others, to aid in modernizing their fleets and run the modernized units in a systematic and predictable manner. 

Financing PUV Modernization – it serves as financial aid to the operators provided by the government though its government financing institutions  (GFIs) namely Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Vehicle Useful Life Program – this is the component of the program that will assist the owner of an old unit in selling at an appraised cost.

Stakeholder Support Mechanism – the Stakeholder Mechanism involves other agencies such as TESDA and DOLE to be able to equip/assist drivers or operators who will opt out of the program. This may be in the form of a training or a livelihood program. 

Initial Implementation – while the LPTRPs and Route Rationalization studies are being prepared, franchises are being issued for routes that are identified and approved by DOTr and LTFRB which are categorized as New Routes.

Communications – to ensure that the information disseminated about the program is true and correct, the Communication component of the PUVMP helps in reaching out to our major stakeholders in order to be educated about the program, its benefits and to garner support and interest.