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CHR steps into PUVMP issue; joining a co-op ‘must be voluntary decision’

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THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday asserted that joining a cooperative under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) should be a voluntary decision under the International Labour Organization Convention 87 and the 1987 Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will jointly implement the “no registration, no travel” policy against unregistered private and public utility vehicles (PUVs).

“Only by adhering to these provisions will the affected operators be dealt with proactively and compassionately,” the CHR said in a statement.

While the Commission continues to support the government’s development initiative, it said it is also advocating for advancement that responds to the needs of all people, particularly the vulnerable and marginalized.

Most of the PUV operators belonged to the marginalized sector, the CHR noted.

“Let us continue to work together to create a just, inclusive and progressive nation that upholds the principles of humanity, empathy and responsiveness,” it added.

According to the CHR, modernization programs must be both inclusive and respectful of everyone’s rights.

The agency acknowledged however, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s effort to provide assistance to the   jeepney operators and directive to extend the deadline for PUV franchise consolidation until April 30.

The Chief Executive has ordered government agencies to pool funds for a livelihood program for the affected drivers and operators affected by the modernization program.

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma referred to the livelihood program as the “enTSUPERneur,” offering P30,000 worth of livelihood assistance for the transport workers.

In a statement, LTO chief Vigor Mendoza II said a meeting with PCG officials resulted in the finalization of strategic plans for the implementation of the policy.

“We still have a long way to go, but with hard work, strategic planning and implementation, and the dedication to road safety of all our personnel, I am confident that we will finally reach our target,” Mendoza said.

He said the PCG participation was based on a directive by Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.

Mendoza said during the meeting that about 30 percent of the daily income of registered PUV operators and drivers was stolen by “colorum” or unregistered PUVs.

“We understand these concerns and this is the reason why we have been strengthening our coordination and interoperability with the PCG and other law enforcement agencies against these colorum vehicles,” he said.

From Jan. 1 to 23, 182,458 motor vehicles across the country have been apprehended as part of the joint government effort on the “no registration, no travel” policy.

LTO records showed that 48,714 are four-wheeled vehicles while 133,744 are motorcycles.

During the same period, a total of 1,966 vehicles have been impounded, consisting of — 1,735 motorcycles and 231 four-wheeled vehicles.

“I am personally monitoring both our law enforcement operations and the information drive and I commend our officials and personnel for this positive result. The figures are encouraging and I am confident that more delinquent motor vehicles will be registered in the coming days,”  Mendoza said.

He cited the LTO-National Capital Region (NCR) for having the highest number of registrations of delinquent motor vehicles with 32,370, followed by LTO-Region 7 with 22,729; LTO-Region 3 with 22,133; and LTO-Region 4-A with 18,428.

The strict implementation of the policy was necessary to compel the remaining delinquent motor vehicles to comply with the annual vehicle registration requirement of the LTO, Mendoza said.

“Let me inform them that we are expanding our impounding areas specifically for this purpose,” he said.

LTO data also showed that around 24 million motor vehicles nationwide have expired registrations and are made up mostly of motorcycles.

As part of the annual registration process, motor vehicles were checked for their roadworthiness.

These 24 million unregistered and unchecked motor vehicles account for 60 percent of the total number of vehicles in the country.

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