There will be no delays to the Philippine government's PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP). This was the assurance delivered by Department of Transportation (DOTr) secretary Arthur Tugade earlier today, following various reports saying the overhaul was set to be postponed.
"We shall continue with the PUV Modernization Program. For the sake of this country, let us have political will. No delays, no postponement—let us get this done," Tugade said.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra shared the same sentiments: "Challenge accepted. Haharapin ko ng buong tapang. Walang duda, mahirap po ito. Marami ang kontra at nag-aalinlangan. Pero sa tingin ko naman po, mas maraming makikinabang."
Delgra added that while it's natural that some sectors will try to resist change, the program has to push through. "Maybe some sectors do not see the urgent need in this now, as it is natural for people to fight change, but they will see the full benefits and beauty soon enough," he said.
The two officials were reacting to discussions regarding the implementation and consolidation of franchises held earlier this week. DOTr assistant secretary Mark de Leon clarified that no one had said there would be delays. Instead, transport officials committed to review the timeline of consolidating franchises by March 2019.
"The March 2019 is a timeline, not a deadline, bearing in mind that the transition period is until June 2020—three years after the launching of the PUVMP and the signing of the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines," de Leon reiterated.
"Units are really not going to be replaced and franchises are not going to be cancelled. Ang pinag-uusapan lang po natin dito ay consolidation ng units na kasalukuyan na po nating ginagawa," de Leon added.
Under Memorandum Circular 20018-008, franchises unable or unwilling to participate in the modernization program past March 2019 will still remain valid during the transition period. "They may continue to use their existing units until the end of the transition, subject to the provisions of their current franchises," the DOTr said in a statement.
"Handa po kaming ipatupad ito. Hindi naman po siguro kami kukuha ng bato na ipupukpok sa sarili namin. Kung dati, hanggang plano lang, ibahin niyo po kami," Tugade said.
Do you think the PUV Modernization Program will remain on track, or are politics and red tape bound to derail it?