By NITZ ARANCON
THE National Confederation of Transport Unions (NCTU) has asked the Department of Transportation (DOTR) for one more year before it completely stops giving out single franchises for public jeepneys for good.
The federation made the call after Tuesday when the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board was supposed to start issuing consolidated franchises for public jeepneys through cooperatives.
Joel Gabatan, NCTU vice president for northern Mindanao, said the government should reconsider “kay dili pa man gyud tanan operator sa PUJ nakapamembro sa transport cooperative ma-o nang among gipangayo ang one-year extension.”
One year, he said, should give jeepney owners enough time to choose and be members of cooperatives.
But Amenodin Guro, LTFRB regional director, clarified that the Board would still issue individual franchises but these would only be good only for one year. Before, each franchise is good for five years.
Guro said the DOTR is working to consolidate all jeepney franchises by 2020 in line with the government’s public transport modernization program.
By 2020, he said old and dilapidated jeepneys would all be phased out. “Old” means 15-year-old or older vehicles to ensure that these would either have Euro 4 engines or are e-jepneeys.