The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has been offering free rides to authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) since the start of this pandemic through its Libreng Sakay Program. Unfortunately, the agency will have to stop the implementation of this program—temporarily, at least—starting July 1, 2021.
According to the agency’s joint statement with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act will only be effective until today, June 30. This is where the agencies get their funding for the Libreng Sakay Program, so the free rides for APORs will temporarily become unavailable past that date.
In addition, the Service Contracting program will also grind to a halt. This means drivers and operators of public utility vehicles will no longer receive compensation from the government until further notice.
The DOTr and the LTFRB, however, assure the public that they will do what needs to be done in order to continue the program. The statement reads: “Dahil dito, makaaasa ang ating mga kababayan na gagawin ng DOTr at LTFRB ang lahat ng aming makakaya upang maipagpatuloy muli, sa lalong madaling panahon, ang programa sa pamamagitan ng paglalaan ng pondo para rito sa ilalim ng Republic Act 11518 o General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2021. Sa ngayon, pinoproseso na po ng DBM ang pagpapatupad nito.”
Take note, readers, especially the commuters who regularly avail of the DOTr’s free rides. Once the DOTr announces the resumption of these programs, we’ll give you an update. Watch this space.
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