Q&A on Omnibus Franchising Guidelines and P.U.V. Modernization

TARGET: Public Operators and Drivers

What are the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines for?

These are new guidelines for issuing public-transportation franchises, which aim to improve land public transport in the Philippines. Through these guidelines, public-transport services will be provided in accordance with the LGUs’ public-transport plans, where routes are based on passenger demands and the existing road network. These guidelines also ensure that approved franchises have safe, comfortable and environmentally sustainable vehicles.

Why PUV modernization?

Most public-utility vehicles on the road are not safe, uncomfortable and produce significant amounts of air pollution. For instance, riding through the back of jeepneys presents safety hazards for passengers. Exhaust from old and poorly maintained vehicles is a health threat, not just for users, but for drivers and the public as a whole. By implementing national standards, and modernizing the current fleet, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) aims to make ​public transport safe and enjoyable, reduce air pollution and to move more people efficiently.

How will these programs benefit the public?

Commuters will have easier access to public transport due to an expanded network that connects different routes and establishments. Riding public transport will also be more reliable. Travel times may also decrease due to routes becoming optimized. Vehicles will be more comfortable, spacious, clean and safe.

How will these programs benefit public transport drivers?

Drivers will have the security of monthly salary and benefits. Drivers will have reduced working hours, making it safer for both the driver and the passengers. Due to modernized vehicle specifications, drivers will also be less exposed to air pollution and other health hazards.

How will these programs benefit public transport operators?

Improvements in public transport will increase ridership, while reducing traffic congestion. As a result, operators will be able to accept more passengers, without their vehicles getting stuck in traffic. Furthermore, organizing operators will reduce costs by sharing services, such as cleaning, repairs, maintenance and fleet management. It will also be easier for operators to obtain fuel and spare parts at discounted rates.

How will this be enacted?

​These programs require collaboration among all involved parties to ensure proper and inclusive implementation. Government agencies will work together to facilitate this initiative, from preparation to transition and to implementation. Through appropriate cooperation from industry stakeholders and commuters, these programs will give our country a well-integrated, efficient, safe and sustainable public-transport network that all citizens can benefit from.

What will happen to old jeepneys and the icon of jeepney?

​The icon of the jeepney is not the physical shape of the vehicle, but the creative spirit of the Filipino to adapt to changing needs. Although safety guidelines may significantly change the look of jeepneys, these improvements are necessary to make public transport, particularly jeepneys, more comfortable, clean and safe.

What will happen to existing franchises?

Existing franchises will continue to operate for the next two to three years upon issuance of the guidelines. During and after the transition period, operators can apply to operate new or modified routes introduced by local governments in their local public transport plans.

Are colorum vehicles excluded?

When the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines are released, the moratorium on issuing franchises will be lifted and even colorum vehicles will be given the chance to apply for franchises.

Is PUV modernization antipoor?

No, it is not. The DOTr realizes that modernization requires high capital costs, so it is coordinating with the Department of Finance, the Department of Trade and Industry and other financial institutions in designing programs that will give manufacturers and operators better access to credit. Driver support programs in the form of training and accreditation will improve the quality of public transport, enhance the dignity and professionalism of drivers and will encourage more people to use public-transport.

Small operators can consolidate to pool resources,  meet minimum credit requirements and  share the cost of operations and maintenance.

Will jeepneys be phased out?

No. Jeepneys will not be phased out, but instead, modernized to provide better services to commuters. The PUV modernization program not only involves modern vehicles, but also, pushes for the establishment of fleet management systems so that vehicles can be deployed efficiently.

Will modernization kill local manufacturers?

The DOTr is only providing basic guidelines for vehicles to ensure that quality public transportation is provided. It does not, in any way, favor any company, and is looking at ways to make the transition as easy as possible for manufacturers.

BEFORE AND AFTER SCENARIOS

Operators, drivers

[B-Before] Public-transport franchises dependent on route proposals of operators

[A-After] Public-transport franchises in accordance with local public-transport plans

[B] Boundary system where drivers need to compete for passengers.

[A] Drivers are protected. Their salaries are not based on number of passengers.

[B] Drivers subjected to health risks, cash-strapped, untrained

[A] Salaried drivers with adequate training

[B] Operator having to worry about repair, parts, fuel, etc, for his one vehicle

[A] Operators organized to share good quality services and discounted parts/fuel

Public transport

[B] Passengers who think of buying cars and motorcycles,

[A] Passengers who enjoy their commute

[B] Passengers boarding on the rear (exposed to pollution, other vehicles, maybe floods, rain)

[A] Passengers boarding on the side (protected)

[B] Passengers in long lines

[A] Passengers comfortably riding a bus

[B] Poor public transport > more private vehicles > PUVs stuck in traffic

[A] Good public transport > less private vehicles > more efficient PUVs

Vehicles

[B] Public transportation is unclean, unsafe, inconvenient

[A] Clean, safe, with Wi-fi, PWD-friendly

[B] Crowded jeepneys

[A] Spacious bus

[B] Public transport users are low-income citizens only

[A] Public transport users are from all income levels

 

Source: Department of Transportation https://www.foi.gov.ph/requests/

 

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