26 September 2021 – Secretary Jeremiah B. Belgica, Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), is set to meet with the transport cooperatives on Monday to discuss their concerns about meeting the requirements of the state banks for the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program loans.

In the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Cooperatives (JCOCC) hearing last Thursday, it was discussed that a franchise grant from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is a prerequisite for obtaining a loan under PUV Modernization Program from the government’s financial institutions, particularly the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

However, LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular 2021-021 only provides provisional authority to individual operators who have consolidated into a juridical entity such as cooperatives.

Another obstacle transport cooperatives face in their loan applications is the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) from local government units (LGUs).

According to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Memorandum Circular 2018-60, the LPTRP is a plan formulated by LGUs that details the route networks, modes, and required number of units per mode to deliver public land transport services.

“Kasi hindi po sila makapag-loan sa banko dahil nire-require sila ng LPTRP,” Vicente Artillero of the National Federation of Transport Cooperatives shared.

Sec. Belgica said ARTA will discuss with the government banks such as DBP and Landbank of the Philippines the possible rationalization and loosening of some of the loan requirements.

They will also call LGUs to shed light on the LPTRP matter.

“We would be committing ourselves again to discuss with LTFRB, DILG, and also the LGUs concerned, even the DBP, because this is a government bank,” the ARTA chief told the lawmakers.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Chairman of JCOCC, lauded ARTA’s efforts to streamline bureaucratic procedures.

“We need you here. We need your leadership. We always come up with bottlenecks as we go along with the implementation of these programs and plans,” Zubiri said.

He also urged cooperatives to lodge a complaint with ARTA when they run into difficulties, especially when dealing with the government.

“Pwede po kayong magsumbong sa ARTA. Lahat po ng may problema, pwede po ninyong sulatan ang ARTA, aaksyunan po ng Director General natin,” Zubiri added.

Sen. Zubiri authored and sponsored Republic Act No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 at the Upper Chamber.