150 MPUVs to continue plying special routes after March 17

AROUND 150 modernized public utility vehicles (MPUVs) in Metro Cebu will continue to operate on the streets even if the 45-day extension on their special permits granted by the Capitol expires after March 17, 2023.

This was the assurance of Eduardo Montealto Jr., director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB 7).

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued on Jan. 31 Executive Order 5 extending the special permits of MPUVs plying the cities of Talisay, Mandaue and Naga and the towns of Minglanilla, Liloan and Consolacion for 45 days starting Feb. 1. A special permit was necessary for the MPUVs to ply the routes outside their regular routes.

The governor urged local government units (LGUs) to craft Local Public Transport Route Plans (LPTRP) before the executive order’s March 17 expiry.

Montealto said on Tuesday that 43 LGUs in Cebu have submitted their LPTRP, a requirement under the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, which started in 2017 with an end goal of fully modernizing PUVs in 2020. But the program has yet to be fully realized because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which came in early 2020.

LPTRP is a “detailed plan route network with specific modes of transportation and required number of units per mode for delivering land transport services. This is the basis now in the minimum requirement prescribed for the issuance of PUV franchises,” according to the Department of Transportation.

According to Montealto, the LPTRPs will be organized by the Capitol for the inter-LGU route before submitting them to LTFRB 7, which will then send them to their central office for the final approval.

The LTFRB will only issue a special notice of compliance to LGUs that lack the LPTRP because MPUVs only pass through their areas.

Montealto said that the LPTRP of Mandaue City had already been approved by their central office, while that of Cebu City is still pending because there are routes that have been changed. (PAC / TPT, KAL)