Despite the pandemic, the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) accredited 1,648 transport cooperatives with 154,898 members, the Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Friday, (June 25) reported.

“We registered 400 percent increase in the number of transport cooperatives, from just 429 before we launched the PUVMP in 2017,” according to OTC Executive Director Eugene M. Pabualan.

The number of transport cooperative members likewise doubled from 65,880 in 2017 to over 154,000 todate.

“They have realized the PUVMP benefits all,” he observed.

The PUVMP enforces the highest standards for public utility vehicles to ensure their roadworthiness as well as the safety of commuters, drivers and conductors.

The program also guarantees drivers a stable monthly salary as they will be employed by the cooperative.

They are entitled to mandatory benefits such as SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig.

The cooperative shoulders operational costs such as maintenance of vehicles, parking fees, and insurance, lessening the burden of miscellaneous expenses.

Data from the OTC showed 1,654 modes of Public Utility Vehicles are now being operated by cooperatives under the PUVMP.

Half of these vehicles, or 847 units, are public utility jeepneys (PUJs).

Although the March 31, 2021 deadline for Industry Consolidation has passed, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) shall issue a PA, motu proprio, to individual operators who fail to consolidate, valid for one year effective from 01 April 2021.

Individual drivers and operators may also join accredited cooperatives before the PA expires.

“We encourage individual drivers and operators to either consolidate or join transport cooperatives,” Pabualan urged.

Source: Manila Bulletin (