SENATOR Grace Poe said that it was impossible to implement the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program in three years.
“Hindi pa buo ang plano. Imposibleng mairoll-out sa tatlong taon (The plan isn’t complete yet. It’s impossible to roll it out in three years),” Poe told reporters during a break in the hearing on PUV modernization with transport groups and the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Poe also pointed out that the fund for the program was not enough.
“Yung interest na babayaran, baka pwedeng babaan pa (The interest on the payment may need to be lowered),” Poe said.
The Landbank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines have signed a memorandum of understanding with the DOTr to provide financing packages to jeepney operators. The package comes in a 5-percent equity, 6 percent interest, and seven years to pay.
DOTr Undersecretary for roads Tim Orbos said that the government would have its motor vehicle inspection system (MVIS) by January 2018. Vehicles should pass the MVIS in order to operate under the modernization program.
“Simula Enero, sisimulan pa natin ang MVIS (Starting in January, we will start the MVIS),” Orbos said. The undersecretary clarified that vehicles, even not with Euro-4 engine, for as long as they pass the MVIS, will be allowed to operate.
“Within three years, pwede pa Euro-2… Basta pumasa sa smoke emissions ng MVIS (Within three years, Euro-2 may be allowed as long as it passes the smoke emissions of the MVIS),” Orbos said.
Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra 3rd said that the Philippines has no effective MVIS as of the moment.
“Sa totoo, wala kaming effective MVIS sa ngayon. Paparating palang po (In reality, there is no effective MVIS. It’s just about to be implemented),” Delgra said.
George San Mateo, president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON), said that the government was doing business by pushing the program as this would benefit certain manufacturers.
“Hindi kami tutol sa PUVMP. Ang tutol kami ay negosyong negosyo (We are not against the PUVMP. What we are against is that it is obviously a business),” San Mateo said.
San Mateo said that the standards imposed by the government would lead to a phaseout of existing jeepneys despite claiming that vehicles, which would pass the MVIS, could still operate.
Poe said, however, that it was not business as the DOTr was not marketing any specific manufacturer of the vehicles.
A two-day transport strike was originally scheduled by PISTON last week but the group cancelled it after Poe called for a hearing with an assurance of attendance by Tugade. REICELENE JOY IGNACIO