LTFRB orders phase out of 13-yr-old or older UV vans
By Analiza S. Macatangay
NAGA CITY — Operators and drivers of utility vehicles in Bicol will have to stop conveying passengers if they are still using old-model passenger vehicles.
Pursuant to the latest ruling of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), passenger vehicles that are 13 years old and more are prohibited from operating.
LTFRB Memorandum Circular Nos. 2012-0217 and 2012-030 reiterate the mandatory phase out of old UV Express units in all parts of country to ensure the road-worthiness of the vehicles and the safety of passengers.
Tamban Van Operators and Drivers Association Treasurer Leous Andal said that they would follow the LTFRB order since they were already informed that the said regulation would take effect on January this year.
She further said that it is already stipulated in the circular that they have to acquire new units in their next renewal of permits for conveyance.
But like other van organizations in the province, Andal said that they would also like to request for a one or two-year extension before LTFRB decides to fully implement the order. She said that not all operators can afford to buy new units and dispose their old vehicles so quickly.
But since 2007, operators and van owners already knew about the substitution of units and the discharge of the old ones as public conveyance system, clarified Arnel Sebillo, LTFRB OIC here.
He said that this year, they will already refuse renewal of franchise of operators still using old models.
Based on the records of LTRFRB, there are 291 utility vehicles plying the routes of Naga, Balatan, Bula, Del Gallego, Goa, Iriga, Lagonoy, Libmanan, Nabua, Pasacao, Ragay, Sabang, Sipocot, and Tamban in Tinambac.
Goa to Naga routes have the highest count of UV Express numbering 42 units, followed by Iriga City with 36 and Pasacao with 34.
There are 256 UV Express units traversing the Daet-Naga, Daraga-Naga, Iriga – Legazpi, Legazpi-Nabua, Legazpi – Naga and Naga to Tabaco City via Sabloyon, with the Daet-Naga route having the highest number of said vehicles at 98 units.