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Jeepney consolidation rate in Metro Manila remains low

Metro Manila, January 3 ------ More than half of traditional jeepneys plying the routes of the capital region opted not to participate in the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program, a transport group said. In an interview with CNN Philippines’ Traffic Center, PISTON president Mody Floranda said 73.5% of the jeepneys in Metro Manila did not join a cooperative or corporation to consolidate their franchises into a single franchise. “Kung may 55,000 na traditional jeepneys dito sa NCR, halos nasa 20,000 lang ang nag-comply. Malaking porsyento ay hindi pumasok sa modernization program,” he said. 


As of Dec. 29, data from the LTFRB showed that only 33.21% or a third of NCR PUVs have consolidated franchises. The government, however, has yet to update its figures after the lapse of the deadline. Floranda also said “almost no [route]” in Metro Manila reached the 60% consolidation rate. Last week, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued new guidelines for the implementation of the program, which stated that "unconsolidated individual operators in routes with less than 60% consolidated NAU (number of authorized units) shall be allowed to operate until 31 January 2024." 


Transport group Manibela also maintained that government agencies' data on jeepney operators who have consolidated is "inaccurate," as thousands are still against the program. "May deadline tayo ng Dec. 31 pero inextend nila ito. Pagpapakita lamang at pagpapatunay na 'yung kanilang data ay hindi accurate at marami pa talaga (ang di sumali sa programa)," Manibela Chairperson Mar Valbuena told CNN Philippines' the Final Word. However, Floranda said PUV operators are not against modernizing jeepney units, but they question the need to cough up millions of pesos to buy an upgraded vehicle. Transport groups earlier said one unit now costs at least ₱2.6 million. 


The PISTON representative called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Department of Transportation anew to revisit the modernization program as this would only make the commuting public suffer. 



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