The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said it dropped the certificate of conformity (COC) as a requirement in securing a vehicle franchise or certificate of public convenience (CPC).
Meanwhile, the government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) said affordable financing will continue to be accessible to transport groups to help them acquire modern jeepneys in compliance with the government’s transport modernization program.
The LTFRB’s decision to remove the COC, which is issued by a bank or financial institution, is part of the agency’s commitment to comply with the tenets of Republic Act 11032, also known as the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Delivery Service Act of 2018.”
In a resolution, the LTFRB said the COC requirement was seen as “a frequent cause of delay or dismissal of applications.”
“In the spirit of RA 11032, which was enacted to help simplify and streamline requirements to reduce red tape in business transactions in the government, we hope that removing the COC requirement in a vehicle franchise application will help ease the burden among the transacting public and give them more convenience in securing that much-needed vehicle franchise,” LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III said.
LBP President and chief executive Cecilia Borromeo reaffirmed LandBank’s commitment to support the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program led by the Department of Transportation and the LTFRB.
The bank has approved P6.9 billion in loans to 144 transport cooperatives and corporations nationwide for the purchase of over 3,120 modern jeepneys as of Jan. 31, 2023. This was done through the SPEED PUV (Special Package for Environment-Friendly and Efficiently-Driven Public Utility Vehicles) Program.
LandBank also raised the available program fund to P10 billion to accommodate more transport cooperatives and corporations. This is the bank’s third budget allocation hike from the P1.5 billion initial fund for the program in 2017.
Under the SPEED PUV Program, eligible borrowers may loan up to 95 percent of the total acquisition cost of the modern public utility jeepney, at an affordable interest rate of 6 percent per annum, or a minimal 0.5 percent per month, and payable up to a maximum of seven years.
Over the weekend, however, Senator Grace Poe sought a longer payment period of up to 15 years to pay.
“We can see that a jeepney driver who earns P750 a day is not capable of paying off a new unit of PUV which costs P2.3 million,” said Poe whose committee will conduct its second hearing on the planned jeepney phaseout on Tuesday.
She also noted that the P160,000 government subsidy for jeepney drivers will not be enough, saying it should not be lower than 20 percent of the cost.