Home News PISTON demands full withdrawal of individual franchises for disgruntled consolidated PUV operators

PISTON demands full withdrawal of individual franchises for disgruntled consolidated PUV operators

PISTON - Franchise Withdrawal

PISTON demands the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to allow the full withdrawal of individual franchises for aggrieved PUV operators who have complied with the mandatory franchise consolidation component of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Under the LTFRB Memorandum Circular (MC) 2024-001, operators who have only applied for franchise consolidation but have not yet received a consolidated Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) or a franchise with a cooperative or corporation are eligible for withdrawal.

However, PISTON National Deputy Secretary-General Ruben Baylon expressed dissatisfaction with this provision. “This is not enough,” he stated. “Full withdrawal should be allowed, even for those who have already been issued consolidated franchises, to give them the opportunity to detach from their cooperatives or corporations and reclaim their individual franchises.”

PISTON also highlights the lack of detailed guidelines in the MC regarding the withdrawal process. Many operators find themselves clueless about how to proceed with their withdrawal applications.

Furthermore, operators were often coerced into consolidation due to the fear of losing their livelihoods, driven by the deadlines set by the LTFRB.

“Drivers and operators should be allowed to operate routes under cooperative while retaining individual ownership of their franchises. What the government refuses to admit is that they insist on franchise consolidation to enable the monopoly of PUV routes and franchises by huge corporations,” added Baylon.

As the April 30 deadline for franchise consolidation applications approaches, PISTON continues to urge the Marcos administration to immediately repeal the mandatory consolidation. The group also calls upon the Supreme Court to promptly approve their petition for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), filed in December 2023.

“The deadline is approaching again, and we can see that there has been no improvement in the livelihood of drivers and operators due to the government’s insistence on the franchise consolidation. Their fear and anxiety have only increased,” added Baylon.