Coalition opposes PUV modernization

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Transport group Stop & Go Coalition over the weekend said it disagrees with the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG) signed last week by Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade to carry out the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

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“We are not in favor. We did not make any move in the past few weeks because we respected the dialogue between us and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board [LTFRB],” according to Stop & Go president Jun Magno.

Earlier, Magno said the LTFRB assured his group in a dialogue last March 31 that there will be no phase-out of PUVs and the government would accept the rehabilitation of jeepneys instead.

But the signed OFG requires a shift to modern PUVs that comply with the emission standards of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and a three-year transition period for all existing, updated and valid franchises.

The modern PUVs should have a Euro4 emission or better, friendly to PWD (persons with disability) and senior citizens and are equipped with safety and comfort features such as CCTV, GPS, automatic fare collection system, Wi-fi, speed limiters, and dashboard cameras, according to the Department of Transportation (DoTr).

“We just waited for the copy of the OFG. Now, we already have a basis to make a move,” Magno said,

According to him, Stop & Go will still have a meeting with its members on what moves they would make and when they would do so.

The LTFRB, meanwhile, said that it is open for a dialogue with Stop & Go.

Another transport group, Piston, held a rally against the PUV modernization program last June 19, the same day that Tugade signed the OFG.

REICELENE JOY N.IGNACIO

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