MANILA – Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Martin Delgra III on Wednesday said no less than President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for the long-overdue Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
“What I would just like to say, that we have been saying this all along under the Department of Transportation and the LTFRB and even of the President no less, na itutuloy natin itong modernization program na ito (that will push through this modernization program),” Delgra said in a Palace economic press briefing.
The PUVMP is a flagship project of the Duterte administration which aims to restructure, modernize and make an environment-friendly transport system in the country.
The program also aims to provide drivers and operators with stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods and at the same time, to let the commuters enjoy safe and comfortable transportation system.
“Matagal na po nating inaasam-asam, matagal na po nating hinihintay ito para sa ating mga milyon-milyon na mananakay (We’ve been aspiring and waiting for this for our millions of commuters),” Delgra said.
Delgra welcomed the concerns of Senator Grace Poe that the government’s PHP80,000 subsidy is not enough to modernize PUV, particularly jeepneys.
“In so far as what Senator Poe has said, we welcome that very much and we welcome the support of Congress on how we can increase the assistance that we can give under the PUVMP,” he said.
“It’s actually Congress who approves of the amount that we will give to subsidize, because this is actually an equity subsidy under the PUVMP,” he added.
He said the financial component of the PUVMP will only address the issue on the dilapidated public utility jeepney (PUJ).
Delgra said if Congress will decide to increase the subsidy to PHP200,000 or PHP400,000 “it might hasten the implementation of modernization”.
“It will depend on Congress. If we will get much help, the better,” he added.
He said there are more than 179,000 valid franchise holders of PUJs throughout the country. (PNA-northboundasia.com