The majority of the public utility vehicles (PUVs) in Iloilo have been consolidated into various transport cooperatives, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) yesterday.
In a press conference yesterday, LTFRB spokesperson lawyer Salvador Altura said, based on its records as of the end of 2023, about 75 percent or 1,692 of the 2,266 who have been consolidated into cooperatives are plying city routes, while 97 percent or 1,911 out of the 1,978 are plying in the province.
Citing the latest board resolution and memorandum circular of the LTFRB, Altura said the franchise of all that failed to file their consolidation by December 31, 2023 was already deemed revoked effective January 1 this year.
However, all traditional units are allowed to ply routes until the end of this month in consideration of those areas where there was no consolidation.
“These are small and isolated routes where only one or two units are plying. Suffice to say that areas where there is no consolidation have no urban areas,” he said.
One of the possible recommendations to address the gap is to extend the route of those plying in the nearest areas, he added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) have already extended assistance to drivers and operators displaced by the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program.
DOLE information officer John Mandario said that under the “entrepreneur” program, they have released over P10.44 million to 437 beneficiaries endorsed by the LTFRB and transport groups as of the end of December.
“We have granted 11 livelihood projects for them,” he said in the same press conference, adding that this year, they have another P10 million allocation targeting 335 beneficiaries.
TESDA supervising trade specialist Donnabelle Sollesta said they provided 900 scholarship grants to drivers and their beneficiaries who will graduate in January and February this year under the Tsuper Scholar Program.
Their assistance included free skills training and assessment with allowance and entrepreneurship training. (PNA)