July 1, 2021

DOTr and LTFRB have put a halt to service contracting until fresh funds can be obtained

Beginning on Thursday, the Department of Transportation’s service contracting program (SCP) will be permanently halted while its continuing financing is discussed as part of the new fiscal year 2021 budget proposal.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and its attached agency, the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), said in a statement on Wednesday that the service, which includes the “Libreng Sakay” program, will be suspended because it is funded by the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,” which officially expired on Wednesday, June 30, 2018.

It is because the money utilized to pay drivers and operators under the SCP and Libreng Sakay Programs are derived from the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act that this is the case.

In the face of the epidemic, both initiatives have been proven to be beneficial to the general public, particularly the public transportation sector; thus, their continuing financing will be requested through Republic Act 11518 or the General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2021.

“Ang ating mga kababayan na gagawin ng DOTr at LTFRB ang lahat ng aming makakaya upang maipagpatuloy muli, sa lalong madaling panahon, ang programa (The public can be assured that the DOTr and LTFRB will do everything in their power to restore the program as soon as possible),” the DOTr-LTFRB said. “Makaaas

In the interim, the LTFRB will continue to distribute payouts and incentives to drivers and operators who have not yet received what they are entitled to under the program.

To date, approximately PHP1.5 billion has been distributed to drivers and operators under the program; approximately 19,000 drivers have received their initial payout, and another 8,347 drivers have received their PHP20,000 to PHP25,000 incentives, which have been distributed to drivers and operators throughout the country.

According to the program’s website, a total of 27.9 million free rides have been given to the general public between March 29 and June 28 of 2021.

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