LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, June 13 (PIA) - - About 200 jeepney operators and drivers belonging to various organizations here participated in the briefing of the Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC) on the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.
Corazon Martinez, OTC Supervising Cooperative Specialist and Head of Training and Development Section, said the PUV modernization program offers environment-friendly, safe, secured, comfortable and convenient transport services.
The modernized vehicle will have an engine that is Clean Air Act- compliant with lower emissions using electric, solar or alternative fuel. It will be equipped with speed limiter and installed with side door.
Closed-circuit television, global positioning system or dashboard cameras will be installed as security measures. For passenger comfort and convenience, it will employ automatic fare collection system and with wi-fi access, she explained.
Corazon Martinez, Head of Training and Development Section of the Office of Transportation Cooperative, briefs La Trinidad jeepney operators and drivers group on the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program and the window of opportunities of the program for both the transport sector and the riding public. (JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet)
As a financial incentive, Martinez said jeepney operators will be given a subsidy amounting to P80, 000.00 on condition they will purchase new vehicle and surrender their old units. Financing of public utility jeepneys may be through government financial institutions with affordable loan packages and through automatic fare collection system.
All PUVs will be modernized but will initially start with the jeepneys which are given a three-year transition period until 2020, she informed.
Bernadette Balway, OTC Training Specialist II, said PUV operators need to consolidate and organize as cooperative or consortium for them to apply in managing the type of vehicles. Having more members translates into more benefits and more capital share, she said.
Under the program, operators will become investors while existing drivers who will be given priority will become employees with improved welfare. Drivers will receive a regular salary and other benefits and not based on ridership which eliminates the existing boundary system. Drivers will work by shift. It will also professionalize drivers who will undergo training at the Drivers’ Academy.
According to the Land Transportation and Regulatory Board, the PUV Modernization Program is not merely a vehicle modernization program but a comprehensive system reform that will entirely change the public land transportation landscape. It features a regulatory reform and sets new guidelines for the issuance of franchise for road based public transport services. It also incorporates route rationalization.
The OTC, under the Department of Transportation, is part of the advocacy of the PUV modernization in charge of the transport sector. Susan C. Aro (JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Benguet)