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PUV modernization draws positive effects

By Keren Anne Bernadas

LEGAZPI CITY --- Drivers in some parts of Bicol are starting to feel the positive effects of the transport modernization program, with some saying it has actually improved their lives and income contrary to what critics are saying.

Santiago Galve II, chairman of the Bulusan Transport Service Cooperative, said “malaki ang improvement sa kabuhayan namin dahil sa modernization. Nagkakaisa kami at nagkaroon ng tiwala sa kakayahan para mapatakbo ng maayos ang aming samahan.”

(There is a big improvement in our livelihood due to modernization. We are united and confident in our ability to run our organization well).

Galve was interviewed during the Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas last June 4, where state officials were present to highlight the government’s thrust in improving the local transport sector.

Driver Larry Luciano from Bulusan, Sorsogon said he no longer depends on the boundary system to get social benefits. The boundary system requires a driver to pay a fixed amount to a jeepney or bus owner to drive a passenger vehicle.

“Sa modernization, yung dating inaasam na benefits ay sabay na pinapatupad. Noon, depende na lang sa operator kung huhulugan ka ng SSS, PhilHealth, Pag IBIG, life and death insurance,” said Christian Deligero, chairman of the Prieto Diaz-Gubat Sorsogon Transport Service Cooperative.

(In modernization, the previously expected benefits are simultaneously implemented. Back then, it was up to the operator if they would pay for your social security, PhilHealth, Pag IBIG, life and death insurance.)

The Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) noted this behavioral shift after drivers were consolidated.

“Nawawala na ang kanya kanya system (To each their own system is gone). Being consolidated as one cooperative or corporation, they will now be acting as one,”said LTFRB Regional Director Joel Defeo.

Consolidation is a key component of the Public Transport Modernization Program, which aims to change the public transport system so that it could be at par with global standards, according to Defeo.

In Bicol, 860 routes or 6,286 UV units have been consolidated under the modernization program, representing 89 percent of the total UV units operating in the region.

This includes 169 modernized jeepneys and 4,611 traditional jeepneys. Additionally,

1,175 van express units, 134 utility buses, and 183 utility multi-cabs. (KAB – PIA V)


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