Today, Department of Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade and Development Bank of the Philippines Chairman Alberto Romulo have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jumpstart the realization of the PUV Modernization Program. The DBP will provide a Php 1.5 billion finance facility for the initial implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program which aims to modernize PUV operations in the country and professionalize the public road transport sector.
The DBP has developed the Program Assistance to Support Alternative Driving Approaches (PASADA) which will offer financing for transport corporations and cooperatives. With this special financial assistance scheme, corporations and cooperatives will be able to acquire newly-designed PUVs at reasonable rates. It shall also make available loans to finance the acquisition of new PUVs to qualified prospective borrowers. Under the MOU, the DBP shall also assist the DOTr in the design, development and implementation of an automatic fare collection system (AFCS) for the public road transport sector.
Transport cooperatives and corporations, registered with the Office of the Transport Cooperatives, can avail of the DBP PASADA and participate in the pilot phase of the program. The PASADA program will finance purchase of public utility jeepneys, buses, mini buses, and utility vehicle express units. Loan proceeds may also be used for the acquisition or construction or support facilities like off-street garage/terminal and purchase of equipment needed for the proper operations and maintenance of the PUVs.
The DOTr launched the PUV Modernization Program to help the public road transport sector to transition to a high-quality public transport system with greater capacity, environment-friendly low carbon emissions, and efficient operations via modernization of vehicles.
Contrary to claims of some groups that the program will eventually put PUVs out of business, particularly jeepneys, Tugade stressed that the PUVMP will help improve and strengthen the public road transport sector.
“Nililiwanag ko lang ho na yung programang modernization of public utility is not anti-poor; it is not designed to phase out the jeepneys or the jeepney business. It is actually designed to strengthen and guarantee the profitability of the jeepney business,” Tugade said during his speech after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) at the DOTr building in Clark, Pampanga.