Governor Aris Aumentado graced the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) Consultation Forum for Local Government Units (LGUs), which was organized by the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on July 12, 2023, at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Session Hall of the Capitol.
Governor Aris said that the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) is committed to taking steps towards an efficient, sustainable, commuter-friendly public transportation system. He emphasized ways to innovate and enhance services for the riding public, which is part of the Strategic Change Agenda under his administration.
He reported that the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) is on top of the formulation of the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP).
The PGBh as well as 35 LGUs have submitted their LPTRP. The plan details the route network, mode, and required number of units per mode for delivering land transport service, which shall be the minimum requirement prescribed for the issuance of PUV franchises.
“This is what the LPTRP addresses. Through the plan, LGUs are able to harmonize transport demand and services to make the public transport system efficient and to comply with national policies on public transport,” LTFRB Region 7 Director Engr. Eduardo Montealto explained.
“Concerns of cooperatives, drivers, and operators who are directly impacted by the program can be addressed by LGUs through the LPTRP,” he added.
The LTPRP integrates plans for easing traffic congestion and eradicating pollution, he added.
LTFRB Legal Representative Atty. Mark Cofino, who came on behalf of Chairperson Atty. Teofilo Guadiz III, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to hear from stakeholders on issues and concerns regarding the implementation of the public transportation modernization program.
Montealto, for his part, thanked the PGBh for the strong coordination with the LTFRB and the latter’s swift action in endorsing to congressional representatives the plan to establish an LTFRB district office in Bohol.
Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) Chairperson Jesus Ferdinand Ortega also expressed appreciation for the dedication and commitment of Gov. Aris and Bohol LGUs toward the success of the program, especially in the light of the expected influx of tourists who are here to celebrate the Sandugo festivities. Another consideration is the recent designation of the province as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Earlier this year, transportation authorities extended the deadline for Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ) franchise consolidation until the end of 2023.
When asked what happens to traditional Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), Ortega explained that consolidation is the first step in the transition towards public utility vehicle modernization. He also assured transport stakeholders of the modifications of the program, to address issues and concerns raised by the transport sector.
Consolidation through cooperatives and corporations, a component of the PUVMP, allows for financing for overhead costs in acquiring modern vehicles that will ply various routes.
Also present during the activity were representatives of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and the Landbank of the Philippines. Virtually present was the Department of Transportation (DOTr). (PIMO/LMS)