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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Francisco Motors CEO laments LTFRB’s slow actions on “TsuperHero Program”

BY JOEL C. ESCOL, Managing Editor

In a bid to revolutionize public transportation, Francisco Motors, a veteran in the jeepney manufacturing industry, unveiled an ambitious plan to introduce “unli ride” tickets alongside free modern jeepneys. However, bureaucratic hurdles, particularly from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), have stymied what could have been a groundbreaking pilot program launched in March.

“Sobrang tagal ng LTFRB, at sila lang ‘yung nagiging hindrance, nagpapabagal sa program na ito,” Francisco said during a recent public roundtable discussion on jeepney modernization issues.

Francisco Motors CEO Elmer Francisco expressed frustration during a recent discussion on jeepney modernization, citing the LTFRB as the main obstacle to progress. The company’s proposal entails offering free modern jeepneys to operators who participate in the “TsuperHero Program,” wherein commuters would enjoy unlimited rides akin to Japan’s rail pass system.

Despite initial enthusiasm from both Francisco Motors and the government, delays have plagued the initiative. Documents reveal that Francisco first pitched the idea to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in late 2023, with plans for a pilot program starting in March 2024.

However, the DOTr mandated Francisco Motors to secure a special permit from the LTFRB, initiating a chain of bureaucratic challenges. Despite efforts to comply with requirements and numerous follow-ups, the LTFRB’s response remained elusive, leaving the program in limbo.

Francisco’s public outcry on April 8 highlighted the urgency for swift action, emphasizing the program’s potential to benefit Filipino commuters. While the government acknowledged the program’s merits, legal complexities and procedural hurdles continue to impede progress.

As Francisco Motors awaits a breakthrough, the plight underscores the need for streamlined processes and collaborative efforts to realize innovative solutions in public transportation.

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