DOTr, vehicle makers sign accord for delivery of 3,000 modern jeepneys

TRANSPORT groups and vehicle manufacturers have signed an agreement for the delivery of over 3,000 modern jeepneys in three months, as the government intensified its thrust to remove old and dilapidated public-utility vehicles (PUVs) on the road and replace them with new ones.

A total of 19 transport groups have signed refleeting deals with manufacturers Eco Dyip Inc. and MCCI Connection Transport Services Corp., according to Department of Transportation (DOTr)  Undersecretary Thomas M. Orbos.

With this, the young Orbos said, commuting experience would gradually be improved in the next few months.

“Our directive is to hasten the deployment of new public-utility vehicle for the public to immediately feel the comfort and convenience of our modernization program,” he said.

Orbos also assured that his group will assist transport groups by easing the requirements in securing financing for their refleeting programs.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin B. Delgra III noted that his group is now in the process of readying the local public transport route plans, “in order for the agency to issue franchises to various transport operators.”

Land Transportation Office  Chief Edgar Galvante added his agency will fast-track the issuance of license plates for the new vehicles.

Among the 19 groups that struck agreements with manufacturers are the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines and Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers’ Association of the Philippines.

The PUV modernization program has been criticized by other transport groups—like the Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide—as anti-poor, as this will “displace and dispossess” a huge chunk of the 209,124 jeepney drivers nationwide.

Under the said program, jeepneys 15 years and older are required to be phased out due to their environmental and safety hazards.

The policy, which has been floated since the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, intends to provide the riding public more safe and secure transportation means by 2020.

Often described as a progressive transportation agenda, the modernization of PUVs in the Philippines is a six-year program that has multiple facets and, when completed, will help Filipinos enjoy a better public transportation experience.

At least, that is the expectation.

Under the program, the LTFRB is tasked to undertake reforms in regulation through the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines. The program also mandates the regulator to implement new jeepney-vehicle standards, rationalize routes and assist in a proposed scrapping program, among others.

Other government agencies will be involved in the agenda’s implementation. The Department of Trade and Industry will help extend the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy Program, which provides vehicle manufacturers with incentives.

The Department of Finance, on the other hand, will help the land transportation regulator to implement a financing program for the proposed refleeting of public-utility jeepneys.




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