MANILA, December 4, 2017 — With the government’s PUV Modernization Program set for pilot-testing in January 2018, misconceptions still abound regarding its implementation.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) today pointed to two news reports posted by GMA News Online on November 28 (“JV Ejercito appeals to public to ‘embrace’ jeepney modernization program”) and December 30 (“Transport groups hopeful Tugade will attend Senate hearing on Thursday”) that perpetuate wrong ideas about the program.
It noted that both reports read: “Under the modernization program, operators are required to own at least 20 Euro-4 compliant e-jeepneys and have a market capitalization of at least P7 million.”
That statement, the DOTr said, is incorrect on three points:
1. It is not true that the program requires each operator to own at least 20 units
One of the components of the program is fleet consolidation. The number of units will be determined by the Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP), which is an integral part of the route rationalization program, that will identify the approved routes nationwide.
The number of units, as well as the maximum number of operators, shall depend on the demand of the approved route.
If a certain route requires a maximum of 30 units, and an operator who only has one unit wants to join, he may join a legal entity such as a transport cooperative or a corporation in order serve the route. DOTr requires the consolidation of existing operators in order for them share operational and maintenance costs, reduce on-street competition, and improve reliability of their services through coordinated dispatching.
A template of the LPTRP Manual may be downloaded via the DOTr website for everyone’s reference.
2. The DOTr does not require the use of e-jeepneys
Modern PUVs may or may not be e-jeepneys, as long as they comply with the emission standards (euro-4 and above) set forth in the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG).
3. There is also no minimum capitalization. The investment per route depends on the LPTRP, which can be shared by an entire fleet
The PUVMP aims to improve the quality of public transport in the country and move towards safer, more comfortable, and environment-friendly PUVs. It is not the corporations who will benefit, but operators and drivers who can earn more while saving on fuel costs and repair.
The government has also made it a point to help operators and drivers migrate into the system by offering a financial package that has low interest, low equity, and long-term.
“The PUVMP is long overdue,” the DOTr statement said. “Filipino commuters deserve better, and operators and drivers deserve an industry that is competitive and at par with global standards.”