The number of accredited transport cooperatives (TCs) for the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) has now reached a total of 1,232 cooperatives nationwide from 1,131 transport cooperatives in early February of this year.
According to Medel H. Afalla, chairperson of the Office of Transport Cooperatives, the continuous applications of transport cooperatives shows the private sector’s support in heeding the call for safer and more convenient public transportation, especially during the midst of a pandemic.
“Despite the lockdowns and limitations faced by our country in the past months, the government and road sector offices, along with drivers and operators have been in coordination to swiftly process applications for TC accreditation,” Afalla said.
“As government pursues its modernization program, the Office of Transport Cooperatives (OTC) is one in encouraging more drivers and operators to form a cooperative and consolidate their units to better grasp the benefits of the program,” he added.
Under the PUV modernization program, transport franchise owners, operators, and drivers are encouraged to form a cooperative by consolidating their fleet, in turn forming a business transport cooperative in that area.
Through consolidation of fleets, meaning all units will now be under the ownership of the cooperative, the members of the cooperative will be able to broaden their financial capacity in acquiring new units that pass the Philippine National Standards (PNS).
Last month, the DOTr increased its loan subsidy to P160,000—double the previous amount of P80,000—per unit vehicle to help operators of existing TCs and newly formed cooperatives in buying modernized units.
“With many drivers and operators affected by the pandemic, we are ensuring that all stakeholders under the PUV modernization program, existing and newly formed cooperatives included, will be able to swiftly undergo the program,” Afalla said.