MANILA – There is enough time to modernize jeepneys after the consolidation deadline on Dec. 31, assuring drivers and operators of government support, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Friday.
DOTr Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said the actual deadline for PUV modernization is in 27 months or two years and three months after Dec. 31, which is the deadline for the consolidation of PUV franchise holders into cooperatives or corporations and not the phaseout of traditional PUVs by yearend.
“Ano po ang mangyayari sa December 31? Ito pong deadline ay para sa isa sa mga components ng PUV modernization (What will happen on December 31? This is the deadline for one of the components of the PUV modernization),” Batan said.
The 27 months allotted for the PUV modernization program (PUVMP), he said, is part of the revised Omnibus Franchising Guidelines following consultations with drivers, operators and other transportation stakeholders.
“After consolidation, saka sila magkakaroon ng sapat na panahon para mag-modernize sila ng jeepneys (After consolidation, that’s when they’ll have time to modernize their jeepneys),” he said.
In addition, the government has also increased government subsidy for purchasing modern PUVs to PHP280,000 for Class 2, 3, or 4 PUVs and PHP210,000 for Class 1 PUVs.
This is an increase from the previous PHP160,000 subsidy which was also an increase from the original subsidy of PHP80,000.
The Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines both offer loan agreements for purchasing modern PUVs.
“Mahirap naman kasi na basta sabihan lang sila na mag-modernize kayo. Hindi natin iniiwan ang jeepney operators, nandiyan ang subsidy, murang pautang, at social projects (It’s not right that we just tell to modernize. We’re not neglecting them, we’re providing them with a subsidy, favorable loan terms, and social projects),” he said.
One of these social projects is the ‘enTSUPERneur’ -- a partnership between the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Department of Labor and Employment to provide working capital and business training to transport workers.
Qualified beneficiaries of the program are members of transport cooperatives -- drivers, operators, conductors, dispatchers, mechanics, and other allied workers -- whose jobs are affected by the route rationalization and the Local Public Transport Route Plan of the PUVMP.
Beneficiaries may receive assistance in the form of equipment for their chosen business as working capital, basic training, micro-insurance from the Government Service Insurance System, and business advisory and monitoring services. (PNA)