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Application for consolidation of franchises under PUVMP extended

CITING an appeal made by DUMPER-PTDA party-list Rep. Claudine Bautista, among other considerations, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has extended until March 31, 2021 the deadline for the filing of applications for consolidation of individual and existing franchise holders provided under the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).

The LTFRB recently issued Memorandum Circular No. 2020-084 to lift the December 31. 2020 deadline for the consolidation of all individual franchise holders into cooperatives or corporations which is in compliance with the “one route, one operator concept” under the PUVMP.

MC-2020-084 was signed by LTFRB headed by Chairman Martin Delgra III and Commissioners Ronaldo Corpus and retired Col. Joel C. Pernito.

Bautista, vice chairperson of the House committee on transportation, was instrumental in convincing the board to extend the deadline.

“Whereas, the Board is in receipt of a request from Hon. Claudine Diana D. Baujtista, representative of DUMPER-PTDA Partylist, stating therein the need to extend the period of consolidation for those covered under the PUVMP,” the LTFRB noted as it issued MC 2020-084.

Previously, the LTFRB extended until December 31 the filing deadline, or six months after the original July 10, 2020 schedule. This in response to President Duterte’s declaration of National Health Emergency as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic that has gripped the country.

In appealing for a new deadline for full implementation of the PUVMP, Bautista said that while government has been succeeding in its response to the COVID 19 threat, the public transport industry has yet to fully recover from the adverse effects of the pandemic.

“PUV operators and drivers cannot at this moment shoulder the cost that comes with the filing of their application for consolidation.

Their current economic situation necessitates that they be given more time to get back to their own feet and fully recover,” Bautista, an ally and friend of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) led by House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez as President, explained.

The lady solon also pointed out that under the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2) any phaseout of non-compliant routes is barred.

“I never doubted that the LTFRB will heed the appeal of the public transport sector. The board deserves a commendation from a grateful industry,” stressed Bautista.

Bautista also aired her personal thanks to the LTFRB and the Department of Transportation for demonstrating their concern to affected PUV operators and drivers.

In granting an extension for the filing of application for industry consolidation, the LTFRB also considered the existing Quarantine Protocols in the country, saying that this made it difficult to concerned grantees of certificate of public convenience to file their Applications for Consolidation.