Last year, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), in partnership with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), launched various programs to support the transportation sector in the new normal, namely the Service Contract Program and free ride (Libreng Sakay) program.
DOTr Secretary Tugade announced the Phase II
The programs were able to provide free rides to 31.6-million Filipinos, while the LTFRB rolled out a total payout of around Php 1.5 billion to public utility vehicle (PUV) operators and drivers under the Service Contract Program.
Now, the government agencies relaunched the programs for Phase II. This means that health and medical frontliners, essential workers, and even authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) can once again enjoy free rides not only in Metro Manila, but also in different regions of the country as well.
The "Libreng Sakay" program supports the transportation needs of Filipinos
For the second round, a total of Php 3 billion worth of funding has been provided by the General Appropriators Act 2021. DOTr Secretary Art Tugade hopes that the relaunched free ride program will support frontliners and APORs during these challenging times.
Meanwhile, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III encourages PUV operators and drivers to join the Service Contracting Program. It allows PUV drivers to earn based on the kilometers they traveled instead of the number of passengers. This program can be beneficial to drivers as quarantine restrictions limited people to go out of their homes temporarily.
“The program provides for operators and drivers an opportunity to earn based on the number of trips they run per week and make their public utility vehicle (PUV) operations sustainable whether they have passengers or none,” said LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III.
The Phase II is expected to help grow the country's economy
Furthermore, Land Bank President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo took the opportunity to thank DOTr and LTFRB for including the bank to be part of the Service Contracting Program.
“We thank the DOTr and LTFRB for this another opportunity for Land Bank to take part in continuing efforts to advance the country’s transportation sector. We welcome this collaboration to deliver financial assistance to PUV operators nationwide towards ensuring pay and uninterrupted operations of public transportation in the new normal,” said Borromeo.
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