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Sarmiento to DOTr: Rationalize routes first before modernizing PUVs

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Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, chairman of the House of Representatives committee on transportation, said the Department of Transportation should rationalize public transport routes before launching its modernization program for jeepneys and other public utility vehicles.

“In fact, it is our position that before the government can push through with a PUV modernization program, it must have been able first to rationalize our routes,” he said during the committee hearing.

“Bakit po? Rationalization of our routes will help us determine the demand in particular routes and decide on the type and number of PUVs that will service such demand. Sa madaling salita, masasayang po ang perang uutangin kung hindi natin alam ano ba talagang klase at ilan ba talagang unit ng PUV ang kailangan sa isang ruta. Route rationalization therefore precedes any PUV modernization program,” Sarmiento said.

He clarified that he was not against PUV modernization.

“We are not saying it is wrong. We are supportive of modernization. But what we want to know is if, number one, this is the right solution and, number two, the welfare of our PUV operators and drivers was considered,” he said.

“It appears though that there was lack of communication on the part of the DOTr and LTFRB. Hindi maliwanag ang mga bagay; hence the prevailing confusion. That is why we want to establish here the facts about the PUV modernization program,” Sarmiento said.