CITY OF MALOLOS – Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur P. Tugade met with the Bulacan Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association to have an up close and personal dialogue and promote the PUV Modernization Program of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration yesterday at The Pavilion, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here.
He said that it is high time to change the transportation system of the country that has gone from bad to worse and plead to the drivers and operators to listen and understand the program so that they can meet half way with the government.
“’Yung financing issue meron po kaming formula diyan, kung napakinggan n’yo na ‘yung 5,6,7, 80,000. ‘Yung 5, equity, ‘yung 6, ito po ‘yung interes, ‘yung 7 eto ho ‘yung term ng pagbabayad, 7 years at ‘yung 80,000 ho ang subsidy ng gobyerno sa bawat jeep,” Tugade said.
The secretary also said that the program is not being implemented to exterminate their livelihood but to help them improve the transportation system. He also shared that he dreams that there will come a time that even people in suits and barong will ride the jeepney because it is comfortable and air conditioned.
“Pag-isipan nating mabuti kung paano madadagdagan ang pamasahe. Tulungan ninyo kami, promise madami pong benepisyo, promise hindi po kayo mawawalan ng hanapbuhay,” Tugade added.
Melchor Cruz, one of the representatives of operators and drivers asked, “Bakit hindi ho natin gawin na kung ang jeep naman po’y maganda, sa programa na ito, paano namin babayaran ng 7 taon kagaya ng sinabi n’yo tapos ho 10 taon baka ‘di na compliant, papalitan na ‘yan. Bakit hindi ho natin gawin sa pagpaparehistro at may mali, eto sulat, punta ka sa Landbank umutang ka pagawa mo, kasi ho magaganda ang mga jeep namin dito”.
Tugade answered and clarified that the real definition of a jeepney in good condition is a vehicle that must be compliant with the safety and environmental standards; must be powered by a Euro 4 emission-compliant engine at the very least or an electric motor; have its entry and exit on the right side, with the rear exit serving as an emergency exit only; and be equipped with a speed limiter, an onboard dashboard-mounted camera, GPS monitoring system, and closed-circuit TV (CCTV) system.
“Kung compliant pa din kahit na 18 years old na ‘yan pwede pa rin ‘yan ipasada. Kahit naman 10 years old pa lang at hindi na nakakapasa hindi na agad pwedeng ilabas ‘yan,” Tugade explained.
Meanwhile, Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy- Alvarado appealed to the banks to find more ways to lower the interest of the loans that the drivers and operators will be able to afford.
Both Land Bank of the Philippines and the Dovelopment Bank of the Philippines (DBP) responded that they will bring it to the higher ups and see what else they can do to help.
To lessen the impact on how to come out with a capital to procure a compliant vehicle, Tugade advised the jeepney drivers and operators to form a cooperative so that they can easily afford the cost of modernizing their vehicles.
Moreover, Atty. Aileen Lizada, spokesperson of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, reminded the drivers and operators of the five points that they need to comply during the three-year transition which include the wheels, emission, hand break, lights in good condition and that they should wear uniforms.