A lawmaker on Tuesday slammed the “tedious process” to secure loans for the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
AGRI Party-list Rep. Wilbert T. Lee urged the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and other government financial institutions to simplify and streamline the overwhelming loan requirements for transport cooperatives and corporations to purchase modern jeepneys.
“The government should not make life more difficult for struggling PUV drivers and operators,” he said.
Lee lamented the cumbersome documents and papers required by government banks to provide loans or assistance to transport cooperatives.
Lee reiterated that the government must not burden PUV drivers and operators with accessing loans to buy modern jeepneys.
“Let us liberalize and simplify these requirements. Many of the requirements requested by the LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board] and LTO [Land Transportation Office]have already been fulfilled, but the requirements requested by the Land Bank or DBP are still difficult to complete,” Lee said.
During the budget deliberation last week, Lee asked the LTFRB to work hand-in-hand with his office to compel the LandBank, DBP, and other government financial institutions to expedite the process of providing loans for modern jeepneys, which the latter committed to lawmakers.
Lee said that a jeepney driver or operator who earns about P500 to P750 a day couldn’t afford to buy a modern jeepney worth more than P2 million.
“We must keep in mind that the transport sector is not only a public service but, most importantly, a source of livelihood,” Lee said.
Aside from streamlining the requirements for said loan, Lee also pushed for the allocation of P1.8 billion for PUVMP, which got zero funding for 2024.
“We need to understand that this should be a holistic and comprehensive modernization program. It does not end with just consolidating or buying new public utility vehicles or units,” Lee added.