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MANILA, Philippines – The government will not extend its yearend deadline for jeepney drivers to consolidate themselves into cooperatives or corporations, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced on Tuesday, December 12.
“Today, we held a meeting with transport officials, and it was decided that the deadline for the consolidation of public utility vehicles (PUV) operators will not be extended,” Marcos said in a statement on social media.
“Adhering to the current timeline ensures that everyone can reap the benefits of the full operationalization of our modernized public transport system. Hence, the scheduled timeline will not be moved,” he added.
The President noted that at present, “70% of all operators have already committed to and consolidated under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).”
“We cannot let the minority cause further delays, affecting majority of our operators, banks, financial institutions, and the public at large,” he said.
Jeepney operators who fail to meet the December 31 consolidation deadline will lose their individual franchise and opportunity to ply routes.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista previously said that the administration wants to stick with the December 31 cutoff, since the deadline has been moved four times already.
After consolidation, jeepney operators will be required to upgrade their vehicles, but drivers struggle to purchase pricey modern jeepneys.
Marcos’ statement came just two days before a two-day transport strike scheduled by PISTON, in protest of the PUVMP. – Rappler.com