BACOLOD CITY – About 2,445 traditional jeepneys in this city with expired franchises have been allowed to operate under interim service permits from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) until March 2023.
They will be granted such permits for registering their units as private vehicles with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) after going through validation of their routes with the city government, Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez told reporters on Tuesday as the two-week moratorium on the apprehension of jeepneys without franchises lapsed on the same day.
The granting of more leeway to traditional jeepneys is the result of the talks initiated by Benitez with the officials of the LTO and the LTFRB, as well as with local transport groups.
“There will be no apprehension yet. They will have to submit to the transfer plan. We set a target of two weeks, but it seems difficult. On our part, we will call on all those with previous franchises to come to City Hall for their validation, and we will forward these to the LTRFB for the issuance of interim service permits,” the mayor said.
He added that modern jeepney routes that still lack units will be temporarily filled with traditional jeepneys.
Operators of traditional jeepneys whose franchises have already expired were no longer able to register and operate their vehicles for non-compliance with the requirements of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
On November 7 and 8, old jeepneys stopped plying their routes to avoid the risk of apprehension, leaving hundreds of commuters without any means of transportation, especially during rush hours, and prompting several schools to suspend face-to-face classes.
As a result, the traditional jeepneys were given two weeks to continue operating while discussions on how to address their concerns regarding the PUVMP were held.
“This is our short-term solution. We will now forward to the Department of Transportation the position paper of the (operators of traditional jeepneys), “ Benitez said.
Under the PUVMP, the LTFRB awarded a total of 1,099 units of the modernized jeepney to Bacolod, and by November 15 this year, about 175 units would have been deployed for nine routes.
A total of 25 routes have been identified in the city’s Local Public Transport Route Plan. (PNA)