Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista assured that the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) is being polished in order to accommodate more jeepney operators and drivers, and make sure that no one will be left behind in its implementation.
Bautista made the assurance after the transport groups’ nationwide protest, saying the lines of communication remain open for transport groups that may have misconceptions regarding the program and to iron out kinks or issues via continuous talks.
“I still believe we can resolve the issues through honest communication. We have been fine tuning the program according to the voices of transport groups,” Bautista said, adding that “on the PUV Modernization Program, we ensure no one gets left behind.”
It was learned that Bautista had also been talking to PISTON President Mody Floranda to correct the misconception on PUV Modernization, such as the alleged phaseout of traditional jeepneys, high prices of modern jeepneys and the compulsory purchase of units worth P2 million each.
Bautista said that right now, many jeepney operators and drivers have agreed to the consolidation of the cooperatives and complied with the program.
There are over 5,000 routes with 135,761 consolidated franchises that have been approved and are being operated by 1,838 cooperatives and consolidated companies.
It was learned that under the modernization program, transport cooperatives may avail of financial assistance, apart from getting subsidy from the government in order to upgrade their PUV fleet to units with low-carbon emission that are safe and efficient.