Government Allocates PHP447 Million for PUV Modernization Program
A huge portion of the PHP3.757-trillion national budget for 2019–PHP447 million in all–will go toward upgrading the country’s public transport sector next year.
“The fresh funding is on top of the P843 million allotted this year to support the program,” said Surigao del Sur 2nd district representative and House Committee on Appropriations member Johnny Pimentel, who revealed the amount during the latest House meeting.
The government is also planning to provide another PHP2.2 billion in low-cost financing to help PUV operators cope with the possible financial burden that the modernization program may bring. Once available, the financing aid will be coursed through the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines. Each state-owned lender will have PHP 1.1 billion at its disposal “to help PUV operators and drivers acquire the newly configured buses, vans, and jeepneys under the program,” Pimentel said.
“We have very high hopes that the modernization program, once completed, will offer the public an easier and safer way to commute in the years ahead, while enabling PUV operators and drivers to upgrade their vehicles,” Pimentel added. “There is also no question the program will help improve air quality because the new PUVs are meant to comply with lower emission standards.”
The PUV modernization program requires jeepneys that have provided over 15 years of service to be phased out and replaced with new models equipped with modern features such as GPS tracking, speed limiter, Wi-Fi internet, dashcams, digital security, and automatic fare collection systems. The new jeepneys must either run on batteries or Euro 4-compliant diesel engines.