By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

QUEZON CITY — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday (Jan. 9) clarified that it could not dictate the brand or model of jeepney units the cooperatives and operators will acquire in compliance with the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).

LTFRB Chief Teofilo Guadiz III stressed that neither the LTFRB nor the government has “say” on what unit and from what company the jeepney operators will choose in purchasing their modern jeepneys.

“Ang nasusunod po sa pagpili at pagbili ng modern jeepneys ay ang mga cooperatives. The government has no say kung ano ang unit na bibilhin nila at kung saang bansa ito manggagaling,” Guadiz pointed out, saying that, this is the prerogative of the jeepney cooperatives.

The LTFRB chief noted that jeepney cooperatives could buy from any manufacturers whether local, from Japan, or China since the government will not meddle in this process and should be fully handled by the cooperatives.

“Pwede po sila bumili ng locally-made or from Japan, or China, o kahit ano pang bansa. Basta ang cooperatives po ang masusunod diyan at hindi ang pamahalaan,” Guadiz said.

“We also ensure that the primary aspect to consider in shifting to modern jeepneys is the safety and roadworthiness of the new jeepney units to provide better service to the commuters,” he added.

The LTFRB also clarified that transportation cooperatives have the autonomy to choose from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-approved manufacturers that adhere to the Philippine National Standard (PNS).

“The DTI has a list ng mga nag-comply sa Philippine National Standard. Up to them kung sino ang pipiliin nila. It’s their call. Desisyon ho nila iyon. They have the full autonomy,” the LTFRB chairperson said.

Currently, there are now 32 models of modern jeepneys plying around the country which are either locally-manufactured or locally-assembled.