Recently, a two-day national transport strike was conducted for the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators in protest against the PUV modernization program. The Malacañang believed that it will give a wide opportunity for everyone – drivers, operators, and commuters.
On the other hand, according to Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, the government’s firm stand to implement the program “underscores the national leadership’s strong political will and decisive stance to initiate reform in the public transportation sector.”
Now, why do you think this modernization program such a big issue and what are the things you need to know about it. Below are the answers to some of your questions about the program.
1. Under the modernization program, buses, jeepneys, and public utility vans are covered.
2. It orders the replacement of jeepneys aged 15 years or older.
3. The government will buy the old jeepneys fro P30, 000 and will later be scrapped.
4. According to the Crispin B. Beltran Research Center, the proposed modernization program will displace 270, 000 jeepneys nationwide and around 650,000 drivers.
5. The government plans to release around 200,000 to 250, 000 jeepneys.
6. Two kinds of jeepneys will be used: Electric Jeeps, and the Euro-4 compliant ones.
7. The jeepney features under modernization program will be significantly altered. Its boxy shape will be replaced with a longer body that looks similar to a van. The standard doors will be on the side instead of their rear. It will also be equipped with power steering, hand-brake, and-for some units-air conditioners.
8. The modernized jeepneys can seat around 20 to 22 passengers, excluding the driver.
9. The annoying no-arms-to-offer passengers will be no more as PUVs will be equipped with an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS).
10. It will also provide free Wi-fi that would make commuting bearable.
11. More than P16 billion will be spent for the entire program.
12. The government are currently considering a loaning system where drivers will pay everyday for the loan money that they will use to purchase better jeepneys.
13. The drivers will need to pay in Landbank with P800 a day for 7 years. This will be for a vehicle priced at P1.6 million.
14. The loan program promises low equity, low interest rates, and longer payment periods.
15. Just like what the government did with taxis a few years ago, only operators with a minimum of 20 jeepneys under its fleet will be able to apply for a new franchise. By year 2019, the minimum will be bumped up to 40 units.
16. Drivers will be given regular salaries with corresponding employment benefits. They will also receive satisfactory training to become more responsible in plying the public roads.
17. For the commuters, the new vehicles will be safer. It will be equipped with Gps and CCTVs to monitor both drivers and passengers. They will also have speed limiters, and safety officers will be assigned. PWDs and those with mobility will have easier access as well.
18. The plan to phase out jeepneys would also result in higher fare of P12 to P20 from the current P8 for a shorter distance.
19. To make the public transport routes more efficient and cause less traffic, House Bill 4434 and Senate Bill 1284 will implement the route rationalization.
20. Failure to comply the requirements needed for this would lead to the revocation of an operator’s franchise. With such cost and with an average income of five-hundred pesos per day, this system would certainly force small PUJ operators out of operations and leave many jeepney drivers without work.
The malacañang believed modernizing is a way of saving. It will cut down fuel costs as the new vehicles can reach almost double the distance with the same amount of fuel put in old ones. Aside from that, it is also less polluting, reducing damage to the environment. They also urged opposers of the program to see that many Filipinos have long called for modernization, and commuters are part of “the poor” too.