LIBRENG SAKAY. Some of the more than six million riders who availed of the third and biggest phase of the Libreng Sakay program in the Davao region from April 11 to June 30, 2022. About 46 transport companies partnered with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 11 (Davao region) for the program. (Davao CIO file photo)

DAVAO CITY – After three months of the Libreng Sakay Program, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 11 (Davao region) said Friday the initiative has served more than six million riders in the region.

LTFRB-11 received PHP270 million for the third and last phase of Libreng Sakay here, which ran from April 11 to June 30 under the government's Service Contracting Program (SCP).

It said they recorded 6,154,124 ridership during the period.
 
LTFRB-11 Director Don Llanos III said at least 46 transport companies were involved in the program, which he said aims “to help the transport industry, as well as the commuting public the convenience and ease during this time of the pandemic.”
 
Llanos said the agency was fortunate to receive a big portion of the PHP7 billion total funding for the SCP, which enables them to offer more drivers and operators the opportunity to earn.
 
Southern Mindanao Bus Operation Association (SMBOA) president Jerry Sy said it was difficult to make ends meet with fewer passengers on the road and fuel surcharge taking a toll on their operations.
 
“The program helped us with the circulation. We were also able to retain our employees because of this as they were able to keep their jobs,” he said. (PNA)