The Office of Transport Cooperatives (OTC) has reported that the number of accredited transport cooperatives (TCs) for the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) has now reached a total of 1,232 cooperatives nationwide.
The latest figure provided by the agency shows an increase of 100 formed cooperatives since their last count of 1, 131 transport cooperatives in early February of this year.
OTC Chairperson Mr. Medel H. Afalla said that the continuous applications of transport cooperatives shows the private sector’s support in heeding the call for safer and more convenient public transportation, especially during the midst of a pandemic.
“Despite the lockdowns and limitations faced by our country in the past months, the government and road sector offices, along with drivers and operators have been in coordination to swiftly process applications for TC accreditation,” says Afalla.
“As government pursues its modernization program, the Office of Transport Cooperatives (OTC) is one in encouraging more drivers and operators to form a cooperative and consolidate their units to better grasp the benefits of the program.”
Under the PUV modernization program, transport franchise owners, operators, and drivers are encouraged to form a cooperative by consolidating their fleet, in turn forming a business transport cooperative in that area. Through consolidation of fleets, meaning all units will now be under the ownership of the cooperative, the members of the cooperative will be able to broaden their financial capacity in acquiring new units that pass the Philippine National Standards (PNS).
As part of the transport cooperative, operators will be considered as investors, while drivers will become regular employees with a fixed salary and social security and health insurance.
To formally organize a cooperative, a minimum of fifteen franchise owners must be willing to consolidate their units, attend primary seminars, and collect membership fees and pay an initial capital. Next, they must register at the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) by securing a letter of endorsement for registration from the OTC and submit the registration documents at the nearest CDA extension office. To then get their accreditation, they must submit the full requirements for the application of accreditation to the OTC.
Once submitted, the accreditation of TC applications will be presented to the Technical Accreditation Committee (TAC) and subsequently to the OTC board for approval. According to the OTC, the approval can take as early as one month to process as long as all requirements are complete.
The complete set of requirements and the full guidelines on how to form a cooperative and apply for accreditation are available on the OTC’s official online website.
Last month, the DOTr increased its loan subsidy to P160,000—double the previous amount of P80,000—per unit vehicle to help operators of existing TCs and newly formed cooperatives in buying modernized units.
“With many drivers and operators affected by the pandemic, we are ensuring that all stakeholders under the PUV modernization program, existing and newly formed cooperatives included, will be able to swiftly undergo the program,” concludes Afalla.