The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) says it will launch on Monday, April 11, the third phase of its service contract program, which includes free rides for all passengers.
The P7-billion program aims to help operators, drivers and passengers affected by the epidemic crisis and rising fuel prices, the company said in a statement on Sunday.
Funded under the 2022 General Allocation Act, the program began in 2021 as part of the Bayanihan II, an epidemic response law, which allocated P5.58 billion to the Department of Transportation.
Transportation workers say they need fixed wages to cope with rising oil prices and the continuing effects of the epidemic.
For the gross contract under Phase 3 of the program, LTFRB will pay for the combined public buses, including tourist buses with P84 per kilometer from the previous P82.50.
Meanwhile, the agency will offer P54, a modern and traditional public jeepney and UV express vehicle integrated per kilometer from the previous P52.50.
According to the agency, the increased rates are due to higher fuel prices.
The free-ride program will begin Monday on the EDSA busway, initially with 510 public utility buses.
Previous rollouts of the free-ride program mainly covered healthcare and other essential staff because there were movement restrictions.
Under the government‘With the current alert level system, most areas across the country are subject to simple epidemic guidelines.
LTFRB plans to open new routes and approve more public utility vehicles for nationwide implementation of the program. – RJ L Balinbin