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Donald Rey Ellarina and his wife show to the media his new fleet of coasters that ply the Cagayan de Oro and some towns of Misamis Oriental during the launch of the public utility vehicle modernization program on Monday, July 15. (photo by Jigger J. Jerusalem)

New ‘green’ PUVs ready to ply in Cag de Oro, Misor: LTFRB

By Jigger J. Jerusalem
Correspondent .

public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) of the Duterte government is set to roll out in the region with transport fleets that have conformed to the Omnibus Franchise Guideline (OFG) ready to ply the streets of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental in the next few months, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-10 (LTFRB-10) said Tuesday.

LTFRB-10 regional director Aminoden Guro said they are finalizing the franchise requirements of at least four transport groups that will operate different routes in the city and province.

“Once all the requirements have been complied with, they can now start to operate in their respective routes,” Guro said.

The Oro Transport Service Cooperative and the P.N. Roa Canitoan Transport Cooperative (PNRCTC), he said, have already applied for franchises. Two transportation corporations will be operating within the month.

Under the PUVMP, corporations or cooperatives are the only ones granted franchises by the LTFRB.

PNRCTC manager Luzminda Lalaine Escobidal said they want to be the first transport cooperative to deploy units aligned with the PUVMP.

She said they are waiting for the local public transport route plan (LPTRP) to be completed so they can acquire their PUVs through Land Bank financing scheme.

The LPTRP, a public transport route blueprint which will be drafted by the local government, is a requirement for entities applying for franchise under the PUVMP.

Escobidal said they are in talks with the Isuzu management for the purchase of the auto company’s Sentro models which the coop will use for its new PUVMP-ready fleet.

She said they have ordered 45 Euro 4-compliant Sentro units which are equipped with global positioning system, dashboard camera, closed-circuit television camera, wireless internet connection, air conditioning, and automatic fare collection application allowing passengers to pay using a card.

Each of the 23-seater unit will cost P2.3 million the the cooperative will pay within seven years.

“These new units will be very convenient for the operators, drivers, and most of all, the passengers,” Escobidal said.

She said the income flow of the each unit can easily be tracked through a computer from each PUV connected to the cooperative office’s server.

The computer system will automatically divide each day’s transactions that will go to the bank payment, the operator’s and driver’s daily earnings, and deductibles such as maintenance fees, she said.

Another transport firm, the Donsals Transport Corporation owned by Donald Rey Ellarina, has already rolled out 35 Toyota Coasters ready to ply the Cagayan de Oro-Initao route.

Ellarina said the Coaster is a 29-seater mini-bus with amenities such as WiFi and a 22-inch flat screen for the passengers’ entertainment.

The new units, he said, are Euro 5-compliant and will have the regular fare of jeepneys.

The Radyo De Oro Corporation, for its part, has at least 10 van coasters plying the Cagayan de Oro-Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon route.

The vans, bearing the name Magnum Express, are also Euro 4-compliant, and will be starting its operation anytime soon.

Euro 4 and Europe 5 are globally accepted European emission standards for vehicles that require the use of cleaner fuel which means cleaner emissions and less pollution in the environment.

During the PUVMP launch here on Monday, July 15, Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in his speech said the DOTr, through the LTFRB, is committed to modernize the public transportation system in the country.

“The PUVMP is a flagship initiative of the Duterte administration that envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable public transport sector,” Tugade said.

The program, he added, also envisions drivers and operators to have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihood while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safety, and comfortably.

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