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Jeepney won’t be phased out but modernized

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 348

THE Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has clarified that jeepneys will not
be phased-out but will be modernized.

This clarification was made by LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada during the public hearing of
the House committee on transportation in order to appease the fuming transport sector.
    
The controversial Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program is being opposed by some major
transport groups and is the subject of a two-day nationwide strike conducted by the PISTON.
    
“There is no LTFRB memorandum phasing out the jeepneys.  Merong memorandum circular phasing out
old buses and taxis but not on jeepneys,” Lizada said.
    
“The jeepney denomination will stay,” she added.
    
Under the modernization program, interested operators and drivers will get at least P80,000
subsidy from the government for the procurement of new jeepney unit.
    
However, with the announcement of new style and requirements of jeepneys, some sectors
interpret it as phasing out of the traditional old look jeepneys.
    
ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro slammed current “modernization” plan of government to only lead
to impending fare hikes for commuters and massive displacement of jeepney drivers and operators.
    
“The jeepney modernization plan of the Department of Transportation will only upgrade jeepney
units and rationalize routes but will not modernize the system of public transportation,” Castro said.
    
 “The proposed modernization plan will only lead to small operators under huge debt and many
displaced drivers.”
    
According to the DOTR, a unit of the modernized jeepney will cost P1.8 million.
    
The government said that they will only subsidize P80,000 per unit and will give the operator 5
percent equity, 6 percent  interest and 7 years to pay for a unit.
    
In its presentation, the LTFRB said jeepneys should be replaced by those powered with Euro 4
engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs.
    
The modern jeepney should also be equipped with safety features, such as a speed limiter,
closed-circuit television camera (CCTV), GPS, and dashboard camera.
    
It will also be outfitted with an automated fare collection system to make it compatible with
the current payment system being implemented in Metro Manila’s 3 train lines.