QUEZON CITY — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Thursday (Feb. 1) said that the unconsolidated public utility vehicles (PUV) are allowed to operate until April 30, 2024 as long as they are registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
LTFRB Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III made the announcement, citing Memorandum Circular (MC) 2024-001 which issued the guidelines on the consolidation during the period of extension and granted provisional authority to unconsolidated individual operators to operate until the extension of the consolidation deadline on April 30, 2024.
“The authority to operate the units of all unconsolidated individual operators is EXTENDED until 30 April 2024, provided the unit is currently registered with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and has a valid Personal Passenger Accident Insurance Coverage,” said the three-page document dated Jan. 30, 2024.
“Confirmation of units of unconsolidated individual operators may be allowed until April 30, 2024. The said units are allowed to ply the route as PUV only within the said period,” it added.
This came after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. approved the recommendation of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime J. Bautista to grant a three-month extension for the Industry Consolidation Component of the Public Transport Modernization Program (PTMP).
The memorandum also set the guidelines for the filing of application for consolidation, reiterating that, all applications for consolidation shall comply with the documentary requirements and procedures provided in the MC 2023-050.
For routes covered by the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP), consolidation is allowed on existing rationalized routes with no consolidated entity as of Dec. 31, 2023.
For routes not yet covered by LPTRP or route rationalization, consolidation is allowed if the number of unconsolidated units in a particular route is at least 40 percent of the total number of authorized units (NAUs).
The consolidated entities on the said route must comply with a common fleet management to ensure organized dispatch of units and avoid cut-throat competition between them.
The LTFRB explained that if the number of unconsolidated units is below 40 percent of the total NAUs, consolidation shall not be allowed.
However, the unconsolidated individual operators may join existing Transport Service Entity (TSE) on the route subject to the conformity of the latter.
For routes with NAUs of less than 15 units, consolidation shall be allowed if the application for consolidation covers at least the majority of the existing NAUs on the said route.
For this purpose, those individual operators whose application for consolidation was limited by prior issuances of the LTRFB restricting the number of units to at least 15 units, may now be allowed to form their own TSE or join any existing TSEs in overlapping routes until April 30, 2024, with the latter’s conformity.
The MC 2024-001 provides that the period to complete the required number of units of pending applications for consolidation with affidavit of undertaking as provided for under MC 2020-084 is extended until April 30, 2024.
The new memorandum said that individual members are allowed to withdraw his/her membership in a cooperative without the need for Office of Transport Cooperatives (OTC) Endorsement, provided that the application for consolidation of the cooperative from which the member seeks withdrawal is still pending with the LTFRB or its Regional Franchising and Regulatory Offices (RFROs) and no Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) has been issued at the time of withdrawal.
It added that the withdrawal of membership shall conform with the existing Cooperatives Development Authority (CDA) and OTC rules and regulations.
Individual stockholders/members are likewise allowed to withdraw from the TSE corporation, provided that the application for consolidation of the corporation is still pending with the LTFRB or its RFROs and no CPC has been issued at the time of withdrawal.
The withdrawal of membership/shareholding shall conform with the existing Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules and regulations.
The new memorandum shall take effect immediately upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation.