A group recently urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to raise the subsidy for jeepney modernization to P500,000.
That subsidy level for the surrender of an old jeepney and financing of a new vehicle can accelerate the implementation of the modernization program, according to transport coalition MoveAsOne.
It can also place the new public transport services on a more sustainable footing,” Robert Siy, the group’s transport economist said.
However, the amount is P340,000 higher from what the government is willing to subsidize. The DOTr earlier hiked the subsidy from P80,000 to P160,000.
The increase was in response to the higher price of modernized vehicles now pegged at P2.4 million from P1.6 million per unit, the transport agency said.
To acquire the ‘upgraded jeepneys’, drivers can seek loans at LandBank but they need an equity to which the subsidy or cash grant could be applied for.
Jeepney drivers and operators have been called by the government to support the modernization program to provide better mode of public transportation.
The program will replace old jeepneys with their brand new counterparts boasting of cashless payment system, GPS tracking device, and machines powered by environment-friendly fuels.
Of the around 280,000 jeepney drivers in the country, more than half of them are supporting the campaign. The rest could be silent or opposing the program which is one of the administration’s flagship programs.
Meanwhile, drivers in Metro Manila were disappointed by the continuing ban on jeepneys to serve the public amid restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of CoVid 19.
They expressed fears the pandemic is being used to completely phase out the jeepneys which could deny their only source of livelihood.