By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz
MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Monday announced the return of the “Libreng Sakay” (free ride) service contracting program in jeepneys and buses beginning November until the end of December.
In a press conference in Quezon City, LTFRB Chair Teofilo Guadiz III said the program’s PHP1.3 billion budget and joint circular have been approved and will include free rides on popular routes such as the Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) busway.
“Itong buwan na ito ilalabas namin ang pera. Ibabalik po natin ang Libreng Sakay. Uunahin po natin ang Metro Manila, kasama po ang mga jeepneys (This month we’re going to release the funds. We’re bringing back free rides. We will start in Metro Manila and we’ll include jeepneys),” Guadiz said.
The program will serve as an early holiday present to the public once it begins in November, he said.
It was first launched in 2020 under Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act and was meant to help the public in the middle of the pandemic by providing free transportation as well as additional income to participating public utility vehicle drivers and operators.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. continued the program’s previous implementation until it ended on Dec. 31, 2022. (PNA)