MANILA — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Friday called on traditional jeepney operators to consolidate into cooperatives, as the government plans to modernize the public transport system.
Joel Bolano, chief of LTFRB's technical division, said the move would help jeepney drivers get loans and make their operations sustainable.
They have until June 30 to join cooperatives so their jeepneys could still operate while they have yet to secure modern units.
"Ang isang basic purpose talaga bakit kailangan nila magkaroon ng consolidated entity or operation ng under consolidated entity ay dahil doon sa magiging sustainable at saka viable iyong kanilang operation sa kanilang mga ruta kasi magkakaroon sila ng fleet management para po sa deployment ng kanilang mga units," Bolano said in a public briefing.
"Iyong salary ng ating mga jeepney drivers ay hindi na po siya based on boundary kung hindi magiging fixed salary base na po sila aside from other benefits under the consolidated entity," he added.
(One basic purpose for joining a consolidated entity is it would make their operation sustainable because they would have fleet management for the deployment of their units in a route. The salary of our jeepney drivers will not be based on boundary and would instead be fixed.)
The June 30 deadline, he clarified, pertains to inclusion in a consolidated entity and not the acquisition of a modern jeepney unit.
Out of 158,000 target individual jeepney units nationwide, 61 percent have joined a cooperative, Bolano said.
"Kaya lang po ang tinitingnan po muna ni LTFRB ay iyong compliance from this time until June para isa rin ho sa magiging basehan ng mga guidelines na ilalabas po before June 30," he said.
(The LTFRB is looking at compliance as the basis of guidelines that will be released before June 30.)
The modernization program began in 2017 and initially planned to phase out traditional jeepneys by 2020, which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline was extended several times following appeals by transport groups which struggled to return to their routes after pandemic restrictions were lifted.