Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Thursday pushed the phaseout of old, smoke belching public utility vehicles (PUV) and replace these with electric jeepneys in line with the national government’s thrust to modernize the public transport system.
“This is bad news for the jeepney drivers and their operators, but this is good for the riding public,” Estrada said.
He gave assurances that drivers will not end up without jobs since they would be the first to benefit from the modernization program.
Estrada said the distribution of e-jeepneys will be patterned after his e-trike livelihood program that he started in Manila’s third district.
Under the drive-to-own scheme, an e-trike driver has to deposit P150 each day for four to five years after which the e-trike will be his.
Estrada said a jeepney driver who wants to own an e-jeepney would have to follow the same rules.
“Huhulog-hulugan niya ang jeepney sa halaga ring P150 kada araw na walang patong na interes na katulad ng mga binigyan natin ng E-trike (He will pay P150 every day and he will not be charged any interest),” the mayor said.
“I think this is the right time to push through the plan of the city government to avail of the financial assistance of the government for those who want to own and drive e-jeepneys,” he added.