New e-jeepneys to ply Senate, MOA streets starting Today

MANILA — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has given the green light to the Senate Employees Transport Cooperative (SETSCO) to roll out modern jeepneys that are compliant with the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

A total of 15 electric powered jeepneys traversing the routes of Star City-Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)-Senate to Mall of Asia (MOA) to Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) and back will be launching trips starting on Monday, June 18.

DOTr Undersecretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Tim Orbos and LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III are expected to be joined by Senate President Vicente Sotto, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Aquilino Pimentel Jr. and Sherwin Gatchalian during the launch.

Delgra said the initiative is a manifestation that transport leaders are realizing the need for a modern, environment-friendly and affordable public transport system in the country.

“We can really implement this. We are supporting cooperatives as long as they have complete documents and have set proper routes. They are our partners in implementing the PUVMP. They will benefit from this in the end,” Delgra said in a statement Sunday.

For his part, Orbos stressed the importance of safety and convenience with due consideration to persons with disabilities (PWDs) as passengers.

“The modern public transport should not only be safe and comfortable. This must be availed of by everyone, including senior citizens as well as PWDs,” Orbos said in Filipino.

SETSCO, which consists of 22 jeepney drivers and operators headed by its chairperson, Remedios Ventura, was among the three transport cooperatives that were allowed by the LTFRB to participate in the initial implementation of the PUVMP.

The pre-selection was made by the Office of the Transport Cooperative (OTC), whose recommendation was based on the cooperative’s good standing, financial capability, and its established management structure.

The LTFRB has granted subsidies last year for an initial 250 units of the Senate Employees Transport Service Cooperative, Inc., plying the Senate-PICC route; the Taguig Transport Service Cooperative plying the Taguig City-Pasig City route; and the Pateros-Fort Bonifacio Transport Service Multi-Purpose Cooperative plying the Pateros-Fort Bonifacio route.

The DOTr is providing a subsidy of PHP80,000 for each driver and operator that will comply with the PUVMP covering the 5 percent equity of the loan from the Landbank of the Philippines payable within seven years at an interest rate of 6 percent.

The department earlier said that the initial batch of e-jeepneys will be rolled out starting this month in various parts of Metro Manila.

Among the routes include Quezon City Hall, along Elliptical Road, Diliman to Manila City Hall, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay to Southwest Intermodal Transport exchange in Parañaque City, Fort Bonifacio Gate 3 in Taguig City to Guadalupe Market in Makati and Bagumbayan in Taguig to Pasig City.

The PUVMP will replace jeepney units that are 15 years old with Euro 4-compliant engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs.

These modern PUVs will also be equipped with closed-circuit television cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System, speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi. Aerol John Pateña/