Metro Manila, Philippines— The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued new guidelines regarding the implementation of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program with only three days left for the consolidation deadline.

Under Memorandum Circular no. 2023-052, “unconsolidated individual operators in routes with less than 60% consolidated NAU (number of authorized units) shall be allowed to operate until 31 January 2024.”

The LTFRB Board will issue a list of routes with less than 60% consolidated NAU, the order read.

PUV operators in routes with no consolidated transport entities will also be allowed to ply roads until the end of January 2024.

The LTFRB said its board and Regional Franchising Regulatory Offices will issue show cause orders during the period to the unconsolidated individual operators in compliance with the Public Service Act.

Its board may also issue special permits to other consolidated operators to ply the routes. The permits will be valid for three months

Specifically for routes with no consolidated PUVs, “a Selection Process, subject to subsequent issuance, shall be conducted thereafter to determine the operators who will operate in this/these route/s.”

Tansport group PISTON derided the circular as just a “panakip-butas (stopgap measure)” and claimed those who will be issued temporary permits will also be part of the jeepney phaseout later on.

In a statement, Sen. Imee Marcos urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to withdraw the deadline which was never followed since 2017. An extensive meeting and consultation among stakeholders is clearly needed, she added.

But her brother, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has said the deadline for consolidation will no longer be extended despite protests from some transport groups.

The DOTr earlier said special permits will be issued to consolidated jeepneys to fill the gap in certain routes after the deadline.