It's only a matter of time until we see more brand new PUVs roam the nation. The Department of Transport (DOTr) has set August 3, 2020 as the end of the transition period for the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP). That means PUV operators must have the new vehicles which follow the rules set by the DOTr on or before the end of the transition period.
That spells the end of the old jeepney formula, most of which use surplus diesel engines and a single rear exit. Despite protests from transport groups, the DOTr and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is pushing through with the program. The PUVMP seeks to overhaul the country's public utility vehicle sector with newly designed units, restructuring of routes and clearly defining PUV classes in the country. It also sees the phase out of approximately 179,000 old jeepneys nationwide.
According to the DOTr and LTFRB, the PUVMP is gaining momentum with 486 transport co-ops formed since the program's implementation mid-last year. With that, the DOTr is further encouraging PUV operators and drivers alike to form more cooperatives. With that, co-op members gain access to credit facilities, organized operators and drivers, enhancement of service quality of public transport, and reduction of competition, among others, according to the Philippine News Agency.
To ease the transition period, the LTFRB and DOTr are making programs and facilities to aid drivers and operators. The DOTr has set up a facility in Mandaluyong City for faster application processing, while the DOTr is conducting seminars with local government units for driver and operator awareness, along with route rationalizations. According to the Philippine News Agency, As of Sept. 17, 2018, 49 out of 59 batches have finished the two-part course in drafting the Local Public Transportation Route Plan. Besides that, there are now 15 routes with the modern PUVs in NCR, Wester Visayas and Central Visayas.