DESPITE President Rodrigo Duterte’s ultimatum to jeepney drivers to adapt the government’s modernization program for public utility vehicles (PUVs) by January 1, the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) admitted that the actual date of the implementation has yet to be finalized.
LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra 3rd said there was a need to study the routes where the modern jeepneys would pass for the whole Metro Manila, which may take some time to finish.
“If finalized, hopefully by the end of October, kailangan pa ipa-validate ang maraming routa sa Metro Manila and obviously, that will take, the earliest, first quarter of next year to implement the routes coming from the route rationalization to be conducted by the University of the Philippines,” Delgra said in a briefing before the committee on transportation of the House of Representatives on Thursday.
(If finalized, hopefully by the end of October, a lot of routes in Metro Manila still need to be validated and that will take until the first quarter of next year at the earliest…)
“[The implementation] would be between now until Dec. 31, we have two months so we can expect something there,” Delgra 3rd said.
“We have already the three pilot routes for this pilot implementation of this study. Napakaimportante po talaga nung pilot implementation program (the pilot implementation program is really important) before we roll out a massive implementation program so that we can fine-tune whatever necessary revisions or memorandum circulars na kailangang i-issue this modernization program bago natin ito i-implement nationwide (that need to be issued before we implement the modernization program nationwide.),” Transportation Assistant Secretary Mark de Leon said.
Members of the committee also said that the proposal of the LTFRB for Euro 4 engines would need a Euro 4 testing facility, which the country did not have at the moment.
Delgra said the Euro 4 engines would run 14 kilometers per liter of gasoline. The current design runs on 4 kilometers per liter of gasoline.
Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas said in Filipino that the modernization program was just being pushed by the Duterte administration despite the fact that there were still no clear routes, no Euro-4 testing facility in the country and no final time-motion study.
Brosas said aside from the unfinished studies, there is also no study by the LTFRB on the economic capacity of the drivers and driver-operators to adapt to the modernization scheme.
Delgra downplayed President Rodrigo Duterte’s demand for all jeepney drivers to get their PUJs off the road by Jan. 1 as an “expression of urgency.”
“The expression of the date is an expression of urgency. In so far we are pushing this as firmly as we can, together,” Delgra said.
“We know how he talks. We know that if he says something, what he means. Ang sinasabi po nya samin is we have to fast track. Lahat ng nangyayaring ito, yung modernization program it is all inherited and ngayon po lumalabas na sa mga irregularities [so]ito ang ginagawa namin,” LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada said.
(…. He tells us that we have to fast track. The modernization program is all inherited and now that all the irregularities are surfacing, this is what we are doing.)
“There are 10 components to the program, lahat po ng 20 government agencies sumasama ngayon para tulungan ang mga sector ng (Public Utility Jeepneys) PUJ para maka-transcend sa transition period. There are also members of academe. There is rhythm and rhyme in his actions,” Lizada said.
(… all 20 government agencies are joining hands to help the PUJ sector, to go beyond the transition period.)
But Act Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro also slammed Duterte for his harsh words to the jeepney drivers.
“Anong klaseng leader ng gobyerno mayroon tayo na habang nagpapahayag yung apektadong sector, ang isasagot ay mamatay na kayo dyang mahihirap kayo. Tingin ko po, kailangan nating maging considerate doon at kami bilang kinatawan ng mga distrito, kinatawan ng mga party-list ay nababahala,” Castro said.
(What kind of a government leader tells the affected sector to “die?” I think, he needs to be considerate and we, as party-list representatives are affected as well.)
Lizada said, however, that the President was a “man on a mission.”
“Twenty years na ho ang modernization program. It needs political will to push it through. Ito po ang ginagawa ng administrasyon na ito,” Lizada said.
(The modernization program has been there for 20 years. It needs political will for it to push through. This is what the administration is doing.)