In a bid to help public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators transition to modernized jeepneys, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has approved to double the equity subsidy for those who will join the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
The DOTr said on Thursday that Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade signed a directive amending a provision in the Department Order 2018-016 to address the affordability of modern PUV units and financial viability of the program for drivers and operators participating in the PUVMP.
From P80,000, the DOTr said that it will now grant P160,000 per PUV unit as equity subsidy for existing PUV operators with valid franchises as well as PUV operators applying for new or developmental routes under the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines.
The department said that the move aims to further assist drivers and operators as they transition to modern PUVs, especially during the pandemic.
According to Secretary Tugade, the increase in equity subsidy is a way of helping stakeholders who are participating in the PUVMP as the country begins to gradually shift to the “new normal” amid the coronavirus disease situation.
“Habang sumusulong tayo patungo sa pagbabago, ito ‘ho ang paraan namin para sabihing kaagapay ninyo kami sa Kagawaran ng Transportasyon. Contrary to the statements of other critics, we are here to assist and hear the concerns of all stakeholders. Especially now that we are gearing to a future wherein modernization will greatly benefit everyone, kailangan ‘ho natin ito,” Tugade said.
He also noted that the equity subsidy increase also includes those with applications from July 31, 2018.
“Retroactive ho ito. Ang ibig sabihin, kahit na nakakuha na ng previous amount, makukuha pa din ho ng driver o operator ‘yung balanse,” he emphasized.
The development was welcomed by Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra who said it would allow more PUV drivers and operators to participate in the PUVMP.
“More PUV operators and drivers can now participate in the PUV Modernization Program as they are assured of access to loans especially from government-run banks. We are assuring our PUV drivers and operators that the DOTr and the LTFRB are always here to support their movement towards modernization,” Delgra said.