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SC pressed anew for TRO vs PUVMP

MANILA, Philippines — Two days before the government starts apprehending colorum or illegal jeepneys, transport groups again staged a rally in front of the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday to halt the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program or PUVMP.

Manibela chairman Mar Valbuena asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order against the PUVMP and hold oral arguments to hear their side.

Valbuena said PUVs that failed to consolidate for the PUVMP but continue to operate would be apprehended as colorum vehicles beginning tomorrow.

Ruben Baylon, deputy secretary of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide, said the program should be suspended since it has been shown to be a failure.

The SC ordered the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to comment on a supplemental petition seeking to stop the implementation of the PUVMP.

According to SC spokesperson Camille Sue Mae Ting, the high court gave the DOTr and LTFRB 10 days to file their comments.

The SC ordered the government agencies to give an update on the progress of the consolidation of PUV franchises within Metro Manila and other regions; on the public transport plan per locality and the route rationalization program, as well as the status of the hearings at the House of Representatives.

The high tribunal has yet to act on the petition as it wants to get the side of the respondents first, Ting said.

The deadline for the consolidation of traditional jeepneys into cooperatives or corporations had been extended from Dec. 31, 2023 to April 30 this year.

The DOTr gave a 15-day leeway or until May 15 for those who have not yet consolidated.

Under the PUVMP, jeepney drivers and operators must join cooperatives. They may also apply for new franchises, but as part of transport cooperatives.