IN line with the government’s jeepney modernization program, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) vowed to provide inputs and assured it has an available model for the program, a company official said.
“Mitsubishi and TMA [Truck Manufacturers Association] will present inputs to the BOI [Board of Investments],” MMPC Manager for Advertising and Promotions Arlan Reyes said on June 8.
Reyes added that Fuso, the truck and bus manufacturing unit of MMPC’s parent company in Japan, will have the available model for the said program.
“What we have right now is the Rosa unit, but we are still waiting for the government’s final specifications,” he added.
The modernization of public-utility vehicles (PUVs) is a six-year program that has multiple facets and is intended to give Filipinos a better public transportation experience.
Earlier, Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) President Rommel Juan said that the implementation of this historic modernization program for PUVs would drastically improve the mass transport landscape and help reduce or eventually eliminate toxic air pollution on Philippine roads.
The program does not only involve the upgrade of 15-year-old jeepneys to new ones. More importantly, the engines of the new PUVs will either have to be the environment-friendly Euro 4 engines or alternative-fuel type like electric and hybrid, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), LNG (liquefied natural gas) or CNG (compressed natural gas).
The Department of Transportation and its attached agencies, together with the Department of Trade and Industry through the BOI and the Bureau of Philippine Standards, the Department of Finance, the Department of Science and Technology with its Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and other government agencies are all working together on the program.
The program has an initial budget of P1 billion to be made available through Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank).
“Now, they have come up with a financing program that will finance even new air-conditioned jeepneys to the tune of P1.4 million to P1.6 million each through LandBank. Non-air-conditioned jeepneys could be had for from P1.1 million to P1.4 million each,” EVAP’s Juan said.
“This financing scheme will entail a very low down payment and will be a boundary-hulog [instalment]scheme of P800 a day for seven years at 6 percent interest. The best part of this program is that after the seven-year loan period, the driver ends up owning the new jeepney. This would never have happened under the old boundary system with an operator,” Juan said.
The LandBank estimates that with its initial P1-billion loan allocation for the program for this year, it can finance the acquisition of an estimated 650 to 700 units of new jeepneys to get the ball rolling.