Aquino rules out PUV phaseout in 2019

THE Department of Transportation and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board both committed there would be no phaseout of public utility jeepneys in March 2019, Senator Paolo Aquino IV said Wednesday.

He noted everybody, especially the commuters, would be the losers in the phaseout of jeepney initially set this coming March.

HOLD IT. Minority senators Francisco Pangilinan (left) and Benigno Paolo Aquino lead the filing of a resolution calling for the suspension of excise tax on fuel under the TRAIN Law at the Bills and Index section of the Senate on Wednesday. Lino Santos
If jeepneys would be out of the streets, there would be no mode of transportation for commuters and the riding public.

“Let us help our drivers to modernize instead of depriving them of their jobs and livelihood of their family,” said Aquino. 

“They planned to forfeit the franchise of jeepneys in March. Let’s do this right, let’s postpone the phaseout,” Aquino said, referring to the Memorandum Circular released by the DoTr and LTFRB.

During the hearing by the Committee on Public Services on the issue of jeepney modernization, LTFRB head Martin Delgra and DoTr Undersecretary Tim Orbos gave their commitment to Aquino that the phase-out in March would not push through. 

Earlier, Aquino filed a public utility vehicle modernization bill with the support of the National Confederation of Transport Union, Sentro, ACTO, and Philippine Advocates for Transport Convergence. 

In his bill, Aquino seeks to make jeepneys safer and more efficient for commuters and the environment, while ensuring the livelihood of drivers and their families. 

“We want to improve the system of our jeepney and tricycle, bus and train in our country. I know that we are capable of doing this thing. But we also need to ensure that nobody will be prejudiced by this,” said Aquino. 

If passed into law, jeepneys will be tested based on roadworthiness and financial assistance will be given to owners who need to upgrade their jeepneys. 

Drivers who wish to shift careers will also be given sufficient compensation.

READ: 5-year transition for PUVs eyed

Topics: Department of Transportation , DoTr , Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board , LTFRB , public utility jeepneys , PUV phaseout , Senator Paolo Aquino IV
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