LAND Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III assured that there will be no phaseout of traditional jeepneys in the country after the deadline of public utility jeepney (PUJ) franchise consolidation.
Chair Guadiz, however, stressed that the consolidation will have to be accomplished by December 31 this year. But it does not mean that traditional jeepneys will no longer be allowed to ply the roads by yearend.
“Kailangan pong tapusin ang consolidation sa December 31. Ang hinihingi lang po namin sa kanila ay yung tinatawag na substantial compliance. Ibig sabihin, ‘pag kayo po ay nag-file at compliant na po kayo kahit hindi pa po tapos ay considered na po kayong consolidated, kaya po pwede po kayong tumakbo ng inyong ruta,” Guadiz explained in a press conference at the LTFRB in Quezon City on November 16, 2023.
The LTFRB chief stressed that there is no transport crisis in the country.
“To give you a hypothetical example, sa isang ruta 50 ang lumalayag na jeepneys, iyong 40 nag-consolidate so may sampu pa doon na hindi pa nagko-consolidate. Eh, ang kailangan mong jeep ay 50 so ‘yung sampu ‘yun, pwede pang bumyahe hanggang sa hindi natatapos ang consolidation ng 40. So what does that mean? Yes, technically hindi ka na puwedeng bumyahe pero to prevent a vacuum in certain areas, we will temporarily allow you hanggang hindi tapos ang consolidation ng 40. The moment na natapos na ‘yon, and they are able to fill up the vacuum, iyong sampu, they will have to stop traversing the route. Ibig sabihin, hindi na po sila puwedeng bumyahe. So in sum, kapag iyong ruta mo ay consolidated na, mayroon nang mga tumatakbo, palagay ko po, you have to consolidate now or you have to stop plying your route,” he explained.
The LTFRB chairperson debunked claims that drivers will have to replace their units once they have complied with the consolidation.
Chair Gudiz urged traditional jeepneys to maximize the 27 months given to them as they can still ply the road so long as their vehicles are determined by the LTO as “roadworthy.”
He pointed out that they will actually be given 27 months or more to transition from traditional to modern jeepney units.
“Hindi po totoo na within 3, 6, or 9 months ay kailangan ka na pong magbago ng unit, wala pong katotohanan ‘yon, pawang kasinungalingan po ‘yon,” Chair Guadiz said.
According to the LTFRB chief, 60 percent of PUJs in the country have been consolidated which makes them optimistic that the government will be able to push through with the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program under this administration.
He added that the degree of acceptance on the said program is increasing.
“Base po sa record namin 60 percent na po ng PUJ sa buong Pilipinas, consolidated na, 70 percent po ng mga utility vehicles, consolidated na po. At ito po ay datos pa noong October pa po, so I’m sure dumarami nang dumarami pa po ‘to. So yung degree of acceptance po ay malaki na. So confident kami na maitatawid po natin itong modernization,” Chair Guadiz said.
“Base po sa aming pag-aaral, e napakalaki ng dis impormasyon na nangyayari sa ground. Ang kinakatakutan kasi ng mga tsuper natin ngayon yung phase out na palagi naming inuulit ulit namin na sinasabi wala pong phase out. Sinimplify na po namin yung mga requirements para mag-organize ka into a cooperative or corporation and we even simplified it now, na hindi mo kailangan kumpletuhin lahat ng requirements until December 31,” he added.
The LTFRB chairperson also assured drivers and operators that the LTFRB will give them an ample amount of time to complete the consolidation process.
“Ang pakiusap lang po natin sa ating mga kababayang mga tsuper at mga operator na sana ho tayo’y magsama-sama. Ang akin pong battlecry always is wala pong iwanan. hanggang tayo po ay tumutugon sa mga requirements ng gobyerno, aalalayan po namin kayo, sasamahan po namin kayo hanggang sa maitawid po natin itong modernisasyon,” the Chairman said.