At least 31 public jeepney drivers and operators in the First District of Negros Occidental underwent a Cooperative Education and Transport Operation Seminar (CETOS) yesterday, February 28, at CLDO Function Room, San Carlos City Public Terminal.

Said seminar, facilitated by the Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) is a requirement for drivers and operators before they can establish a cooperative, which is the first step in the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). It also aimed to provide participants with an idea of how a transport cooperative operates.

OTC Board Secretary II Ramil Urrera said that under the Department of Transportation Order 2017-011, signed by Sec. Arthur Tugade, which is the core policy of the PUVMP, envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed, and environmentally sustainable transport sector where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient, and dignified livelihoods while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely, and comfortably.

“With the PUVMP, drivers would receive salary and pension during retirement compared to traditional jeepney drivers,” he added. Urrera also said the national government is ready to subsidize and assist the cooperative to purchase modern vehicles thru a loan from the Landbank of the Philippines.

He was also happy that the drivers and operators positively responded to the PUV modernization program.

Meanwhile, Cooperatives and Livelihood Development Office Supervising CDS Raymund B. Gepitulan said the national government extended until April 2024 the consolidation of traditional jeepneys and UV express unit drivers and operators into a cooperative. Interim Chairperson Julinda T. Casipong said the government currently allowed them to use jeepneys since they had initially started with the requirements.

She thanked the office of First District Rep. Gerardo P. Valmayor Jr. of Negros Occidental and CLDO for helping establish the cooperative.

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