During the course of this pandemic, public commuters have been the most affected when it comes to transportation. The world found itself in a grey area when life was returning back to normal but the average Filipino still struggled to find a way to-and-fro the office. To give back to the citizenry for their patience, government agencies have doled out complimentary means of transportation to help bring society up to speed. Safety is also still a priority. In order to continue with these valiant efforts, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has continued its free ride or “Libreng Sakay” program.
According to a post on the official Facebook page, this program was implemented in order to aid drivers, operators, and passengers in the country. The goal is to remove all possible blockades to the delivery of essential goods and services within our local roads. Within the next days, the LTFRB expects more PUVs to operate in its free ride initiative with more routes opening in the future.
As of now, there are 106 routes designated by the LTFRB. It covers as far north as Fairview then spans across the metro, reaching Alabang as the south point. The full list of routes can be accessed and read by clicking on this Google Drive Link.
This is all part of the larger Service Contracting Program, currently in its third phase. This program seen here includes subsidies and programs for both operators and drivers of PUVs alike. It is also formed with the goal of incentivizing public forms of transport when moving from place to place. We’re not exactly sure if a countermeasure to traffic was an idea they had on the side for this one, but if it works – it works.
Responses are mixed, with some PUV activists furious at how their profits will be driven down even further by the lackluster implementation. Passengers, on the other hand, are joyous and optimistic. We’ll have to wait and see how this will pan out in the long term.