LTFRB extends jeepney franchise consolidation until Dec. 31

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 1) — Transportation authorities have extended the deadline for public utility jeepney (PUJ) franchise consolidation until the end of 2023, as thousands of drivers and operators threatened to stage a week-long strike.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III announced the extension of the deadline from June 30 to Dec. 31 during a briefing on Wednesday.

In effect, franchises of all traditional jeepneys are also extended until the end of the year.

“Ito ay pagtugon sa kahilingan ng transport sector [This is in response to the request of the transport sector],” he said.

The official said the extension would give the transport sector “more time to consolidate.”

Earlier this week, Manibela chairperson Mar Valbuena said around 100,000 drivers and operators were willing to participate in the strike if authorities do not withdraw Memorandum Circular No. 2023-013 ordering the mandatory consolidation of jeepney franchises by June 30.

READ: Jeepneys, UV express groups warn of nationwide strike vs. franchise consolidation

However, Guadiz said the threat of the strike did not put undue pressure on the LTFRB, claiming that more than 90% of transport groups have expressed support for the modernization program.

On Wednesday, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged the groups to call off their strike, assuring them that the government would look for ways to improve the implementation of the program.