Press Release
January 16, 2018


Senator Grace Poe urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to submit its report and enlighten the public on the latest developments regarding the jeepney modernization program amid its planned roll out this year.

"We want to know what has happened to the modernization program. Has the DOTr come up with clear guidelines on how to implement this? There are still many things to be ironed out," Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said.

"The DOTr should update the public to avoid confusion and misinformation. All the details should be laid on the table because as far as ordinary jeepney drivers are concerned, it is their livelihood that is at stake here," she added.

At the same time, Poe appealed for sobriety among jeepney operators and drivers mulling to hold street protests following the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board's implementation of the "Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok" program, which some groups are linking to the modernization program.

"The lack of transportation hits the commuters hard and disrupts work and classes," Poe emphasized.

In a hearing last December that gathered representatives of jeepney groups and transportation officials, Poe recommended the conduct of a pilot test of the modernization program amid the absence of clear guidelines and lack of consultation with the transport groups.

She proposed that the DOTr try the program on specific areas, and focus first on doable tests, such as compliance to safety, road worthiness and smoke emission.

During the hearing on the PUV modernization program, the DOTr has promised to have a continuing dialogue with PUV organizations, operators and employees.

As a compromise, Poe appealed that old models that pass road-worthiness tests be allowed to continue plying their routes and that jeepney operators comply with the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) results which has recently been set up by the DOTr.

While she believes there is a need to modernize the country's public transportation, such as jeepneys, the program should not result in unjustly killing the source of livelihood of the drivers.

"The government should step in to ensure the public a convenient and safe way to commute, with the opportunity for the drivers and operators to upgrade their vehicles. However, it should not be too burdensome for them," she said.

The DOTr had placed the cost of a new jeepney between P1.5 million and P1.8 million, with the government subsidizing a measly P80,000.

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