The Royal Developers Consortium - Transport Service Cooperative (RODECO) launched fifteen modern public utility vehicles set to operate here as part of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board's (LTFRB) Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
LTFRB Region 10 Director Aminoden Guro awarded RODECO a five-year certificate of public convenience attesting that the said transportation cooperative complied with the needed requirements to operate as modern PUVs deployed on a route from City Proper to Bayanihan Village, Barangay Santa Elena, this city.
Guro elaborated that the Isuzu QKR 77 Almazora PUV is an air-conditioned 24-seater truck complete with four CCTV cameras, a flat-screen TV, GPS routing system and a ready cashless fare payment system equipped with Euro IV-compliant diesel engine that delivers better fuel saving feature and eco-friendly emissions.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Guro explained that the 24-seater capacity was trimmed down to 17 seats to allow social distancing.
"Meron na tayong pamasahe sa modernized PUJ. Minimum 'yung first four kilometers of 11 pesos, in every succeeding kilometer meron tayong dagdag na one peso and fifty cents," he disclosed.
[We already have the fare rate of this modernized PUJ. You will pay 11 pesos for the first four kilometers of your trip, and in every succeeding kilometer, there will be an addition fare of one peso and fifty cents.]
As part of LTFRB's public transportation modernization, drivers will have a fixed income according to the minimum wage standard in the locality plus benefit contributions to SSS, Philhealth and PAG-IBIG.
This is the reason why seasoned PUV driver Rhoderick Morales expressed optimism with this shift. He said that it is more helpful for him and his family since he will now have a fixed income and definite contributions to the government's social programs.
"Bintaha ang akong kinabuhi karon kay naa ang tanan prebilihiyo na gihatag sa amu-a. Mabuhi gyud ang akong pamilya pinaagi sa ilahang mga tabang sa amu pinaagi atung mga benepisyo. Busa dako kaayo mi'g pasalamat sa LTFRB nga natuman najud ang amung mga gipangandoy nga makabiyahi nami sa amuang gipaabot nga ruta," said Morales.
[Now my life is more favorable that all privileges are provided to us. My family will live comfortably through the help of the benefits that we will receive. That's why I want to thank LTFRB for making our proposed route possible, we've waited for this.]
According to Eugene Pabualan, the executive director of the Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OCT), the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Department Order 2017-011 requires not only transportation franchisees to create cooperatives, instead "the whole public transportation system will change for the benefit of the majority 'everyday commuters' under the said department order".
"This is good news because the residents of Iligan will have a modernized system of transportation. We want to professionalize the business operation. We do this to incapacitate and empower the board of directors, the managers (of transportation cooperatives) so that members who invested capital shares for them will have fair dividends," shared Pabualan.
The executive director emphasized this change of the land transportation system is convenient for the commuters, franchisers and the drivers.
"This change is not only implemented to jeepney PUVs, it is also applicable to buses, taxis and point-to-point UVs. We will soon have comfortable, affordable, reliable, environment-friendly and safe mode of transportation that provides comfort to all our commuters," Pabualan remarked.
On the other hand, LTFRB announced that full abolishment of traditional PUVs will be carried out on December 29, this year.
The board encouraged all franchisers to fully embrace the shift as soon as possible through consolidating their old PUV units. (CLV/PIA-ICIC)
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