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Many PUV operators, drivers don’t know their own franchise

A LARGE number of public utility vehicle operators and drivers are unaware of the provisions of their franchise and this has contributed to the lack of appreciation for traffic rules, said the chief of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Region 10.

Many PUV drivers are not even aware that one of the requirements stipulated in the terms and conditions of the franchise issued to them was that they are not allowed to join transport strikes, among others, LTFRB-10 director Aminoden Guro said Tuesday.

If public utility drivers are proven to have participated in protest action against the government through transport strikes, Guro said they can be sanctioned, and worse, their franchise could be revoked.

PUV drivers from the region are required by the LTFRB to attend a one-day Public Utility Drivers Academy Program (Pudap) where they will be re-trained on traffic rules and have to pass the five modules, which included the terms of the condition of their franchise, road safety, good driving habits, road rage and anger management, traffic signs and pavement markings.

Pudap was launched all over the country by the LTFRB on Aug. 17.

The re-training of the PUV drivers was realized through Executive Order 202, which mandates the LTFRB to formulate and implement policies including the requiring of operators and drivers of public land transportation service to attend trainings and seminars in line with their roles and responsibilities.

Those who did not pass the post-seminar examination will have to repeat the particular module which they have failed until they are given an identification card that certifies they have passed the academy.

Aside from their lack of knowledge on the terms of conditions of their Certificate of Public Convenience, there are also drivers who need to control their attitude while on the road.

“Many of them don’t give way to pedestrians and their fellow motorists, and some display antagonistic character while driving,” Guro said.

He also noticed that those who come from major urban centers like Metro Manila and Cebu are more knowledgeable on the traffic rules than those from small towns.

Guro said more than 250 drivers had already participated in the Pudap. Northern Mindanao has about 20,000 PUV drivers.

He said the Pudap is one of the programs to modernize the country’s mass transportation system as the agency will also introduce electric jeepneys (e-jeepneys) in the next three years.

Guro said the LTFRB will assist the PUV operators and drivers in availing of loans from government banks so they could purchase the e-jeepney, which range from P1 million to P1.5 million.

Operators have the option of buying regular or air-conditioned e-jeepneys.

Guro said these new PUVs will be a convenience to the riding public as they are new and emit no pollutants.

Meanwhile, the city government has launched its own seminar for Cagayan de Oro’s PUV operators and drivers on Friday.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the city’s traffic problem must be properly solved and countermeasures must be put in place for Cagayan de Oro’s growth trajectory to maintain its course. (pna)

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