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LTFRB seeks to extend PUV service program using 2021 budget as Bayanihan 2 expires

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday said it hopes to extend funding for the public utility vehicle service contracting program using funds from the 2021 budget.

This after the program for transport sector workers, which also provides free rides amid the pandemic, will end after the validity  of Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 ends on June 30, Wednesday.

"There were attempts to extend it [Bayanihan 2] in both houses of Congress. We supported the move to extend it but apparently, sa panahon na nagawa ang batas kaya matatapos na rin po yung programang ito [the service contracting program will end]," LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra said in an online press conference livestreamed on Facebook.

"Maging ang libreng sakay na pinapatupad sa ilalim ng service contracting magtatapos na rin po sa June 30," he added.

[The free rides which are implemented under the program will also end on June 30.]

LTFRB has already made a request to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the continuation of the program, Delgra said.

"Ginagawa po natin ang lahat para maituloy ulit ang programa sa pamamagitan ng paglalaan ng pondo sa ilalim ng GAA," Delgra said.

[We are doing the best we can to continue to program under the General Appropriations Act.]

Delgra added that the DBM is currently processing the implementation of the request.

There are over P3 billion funds allocated for the service contract program under the 2021 budget, Delgra also pointed out.

In a previous Senate hearing, the LTFRB was criticized for its slow rollout for assistance for drivers without income during the pandemic. — Consuelo Marquez/BM, GMA News