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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Set up help desks for PUV drivers unable to join modernization program, Poe urges LTFRB

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To hastily assist jeepney drivers and operators who did not join the state-sanctioned Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), Senator Grace Poe urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to set up help desks nationwide.

Poe said these drivers can sign up for assistance that can be provided to them by the government. At present, the chairperson of the Senate Public Services committee said there appears to be a disconnect or misunderstanding on the PUVMP.

The senator has consistently raised questions on the program, including the route rationalization plan, subsidies, and alternative livelihood.

At the same time, she said transportation officials should be ready to face scrutiny on the impact of the jeepney modernization program, including the utilization of the P200-million fund for drivers’ livelihood assistance.

“The consolidation deadline is not the end of the road for raising our concerns on the jeepney modernization. We will keep an eye on its implementation,” Poe assured.

Poe asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to submit a comprehensive data on the status and revised timeline of the PUVMP and its components; updated statistics on consolidation of jeepneys; and the number of routes being serviced, affected routes and contingency plans for these, so as not to adversely impact commuters.

The senator also sought the DOTr’s plan for the drivers, who lost their livelihood and on the status of implementation of assistance for them, such as the Entrepreneur and Tsuper Iskolar Programs.

Poe said she would inquire on the fund utilization of past training programs for drivers amid reports that millions of pesos were not used.

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