IT is, without doubt, reassuring to note that the national government’s controversial public vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) is not meant to phase out jeepneys.
Of course, we, including jeepney operators and drivers, must not forget that the PUVMP is a well-studied mechanism which is aimed at “improving” the country’s public transport sector.
And contrary to the claims of some transport groups, the Duterte administration’s transport upgrade is not “anti-poor,” according to Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, a former lawmaker.
“We assure Filipino jeepney drivers that this initiative of the government to improve our public transport sector will not put them out of business,” said the highly-articulate Roque.
Note that concerned state agencies, particularly the Department of Transportation, are working in unison to ensure that the concerns of jeepney drivers will be addressed.
We believe that these government offices have concrete plans of action on how the Duterte administration will address the concerns of jeepney operators and drivers across the country.
One of these efforts is the provision of a financing scheme for acquisition of new units available through the Development Bank of the Philippines’ support alternative driving approaches program.
Likewise, the Landbank of the Philippines helps the government’s public transport modernization program through its special environment-friendly and efficiently-driven (Speed) jeepney program.
Now that Malacañang officials have given their assurance that there’s no phaseout of jeepneys, the country’s public transport sector has no choice but to support the PUVMP.
And we hope jeepney operators and drivers will wake up to their responsibility to help the government in addressing the various problems confronting the country’s public transport sector.