MANILA -- The House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation is set to conduct a hearing on the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program of the Department of Transportation on Thursday.
Panel chair, Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, announced this on Tuesday after the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) held a two-day nationwide transport strike against the proposed phaseout of old jeepneys.
Sarmiento said the congressional hearing can be a platform for both the government and transport groups to air out their sides and address the issues about the program.
He said jeepney drivers and operators may have been prompted to stage protests due to fear of displacement or loss of income once the program is implemented.
The Department of Finance reported that the program would cost PHP417 billion for the next five years, including the PHP8 billion subsidy for the purchase of PUVs and PHP3.9 billion for the Office of Transport Cooperatives.
Under the PUV Modernization Program, jeepney units that are 15 years old will be replaced with Euro 4 engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs. These will also be equipped with closed-circuit television cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System, speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi. (PNA)