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DOTr readies to put 170,000 old jeepneys in the scrap yard

A Department of Transportation (DOTr) official on Wednesday revealed the Duterte administration is targeting to take out from the road and put to scrap some 170,000 old jeepneys soon as part of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program
Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark Richmund de Leon said that have yet to start the scrapping since the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is still in search for accredited scrapping companies where jeepney drivers and operators can get good scrap value for their aging and pollution prone non-Euro-4 compliant units.

He added the DOTr is expecting a scrap metal value of P20,000 to P30,000 per unit.

‘Huge impact’
To expedite the total phase out of the old jeepneys, DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is now processing over 400 applications from cooperatives for their consolidation, a provision of the initiative that aims to upgrade and improve public vehicles in the country.

According to Tugade, merging smaller transport players will give drivers and operators better access to funding.

“The scale and the impact of this program is huge. Our countrymen will directly feel the effects of this program—faster, more comfortable and safe rides. So, even if we have faced a lot of roadblocks in implementing this, we will never budge,” he stated on Wednesday.

To process the application, the transport department has set up a one-stop-shop facility in Mandaluyong City. The said shop houses from different government agencies will make the process for franchise and new route applications faster.

Developmental routes
De Leon also said that the government is in the process of identifying and studying new and developmental routes all over the country.

So far, only 10 out of the 59 batches are yet to complete the “two-part course” in drafting the Local Public Transportation Route Plan (LPTRP), which is being overseen by local government units (LGUs).

“From the start, we have been campaigning for better public transport and accessibility options for the public.

We have been engaging our LGUs to help us move things forward. They know the needs of their constituents better because they are on the ground, and with this, we hope that all routes nationwide will be properly served,” he said.

Since its launch last year, the initiative has opened 15 operational routes for modern jeepneys in the National Capital Region, Regions 6 and 8.

The Philippines is in the midst of a six-year PUV-modernization plan, which aims to replace old jeepney units with low-emission and fuel-efficient vehicles to help reduce air pollution and provide better transportation means for commuters.

It has been on the government’s drawing board for more than a decade now, but has only come into effect last year, when the Duterte administration took a stiffer stance on implementing the program despite oppositions from operators.

Under the program, several agencies under the Departments of Transportation, Trade and Finance are to work together to remove old and pollution-causing units, replace them with vehicles with larger volume capacities and improve the roadworthiness of public utility units.

In a nutshell, the modernization agenda aims to effect a transition from current vehicles plying the road to “high-quality public-transit requisites.” The transportation department listed these items as follows: “higher capacity vehicles, low-emission vehicles, fleet consolidation, reformed business model and an effective information-technology system.”

Higher scrap value
Asked if the scrap metal value could still go up, de Leon told the BusinessMirror: “That is the objective, to increase the scrap value.”

Each new PUV, he said, could cost about P1.6 million to P1.8 million.

To save costs of from buying new units, de Leon urged drivers and operators to be part of cooperatives or firms since there there will be fewer new franchises that will be issued.

So far, de Leon said they have consolidated at least 486 cooperatives.

“[It is possible] that about 500 people will share in procuring the required number of units. Sharing of capital expense, sharing of maintenance and operational expense,” he added.

De Leon also said that the government is also giving P80,000 worth of subsidy per unit aside from stretching the repayment period of seven years, at 5-percent down payment with 6-percent interest.

The program seeks to replace all PUVs more than 15 years old with new models equipped with automated fare-collection systems, digital security and dashboard cameras, Wi-Fi internet connectivity, GPS tracking devices and speed limiters.

The new PUVs will also run either on electric batteries with zero exhaust gas emissions, or on Euro 4-compliant diesel engines that discharge 68 percent less particulate matter, 57 percent less nitrogen oxides and 50 percent less carbon monoxide.

In the case of jeepneys, for instance, each operator must also have a minimum of 10 units to obtain a single franchise. Thus, drivers running their own units will have to band themselves into groups of at least 10 members to secure a franchise.

The DOTr, with the help of the local government units, will draw the PUV routes to ensure the financial viability of the operations.

DOTr readies to put 170,000 old jeepneys in the scrap yard DOTr readies to put 170,000 old jeepneys in the scrap yard Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 11:38:00 PM Rating: 5

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