DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade has responded to the 'anti-poor' claims of certain transport groups regarding the act. Tugade stressed that the PUVMP will help improve and strengthen the public road transport sector with the financial assistance from the Development Bank of the Philippines making it easier to upgrade to more modern public utility vehicles.
“Nililiwanag ko lang ho na yung programang modernization of public utility is not anti-poor (I am clarifying that the modernization program 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,” said Tugade.
He added that the PUV sector is in serious need of an update, especially on the environmental front.
“Gumagawa tayo ng pamamaraan na kung saan yung jeepney ay magiging compliant sa mga specification na gusto natin sa program upang ang paghahanap-buhay ay kakambalan natin ng responsibilidad sa kapaligiran. Maghanap-buhay ka pero ‘wag mong patayin ‘yung environment. Maghanap-buhay ka pero pangalagaan mo ang henerasyon na darating (We are finding ways to make the jeepney be compliant to the DOTr's specifications. The responsibility of taking care of the environment should go hand and hand with livelihood),” said Tugade.
Under the PUV modernization program, transport cooperatives and corporations can avail of financial assistance, on top of a government subsidy, to upgrade their fleet with more modern vehicles. DBP's PASADA Program, is set to offer financing for transport corporations and cooperatives to allow them to acquire new and passenger PUVs.
“The PASADA program that we now envision is a major improvement of past initiative as it is part and parcel of a holistic government as designed by the DOTr under Secretary Tugade. Our officers and staff at DBP have done their best to formulate within existing parameters a responsive financing program that will soften the financial impact on drivers and their families while reducing of course our lending risk as well,” said Alberto Romulo, chairman of DBP.
Last April 30 2017, the DOTr also signed an MOU with the Landbank of the Philippines to set up a PhP1 billion financing for PUJs via the Special Environment-Friendly and Efficiently Driven (SPEED) Jeepney Program. The DOTr is eyeing to sign similar MOUs with different private financing institutions in the next months geared towards pushing for the PUVMP.