Press Release
September 29, 2023

Gatchalian seeks an increase in gov't subsidy in PUV modernization program

Senator Win Gatchalian called for an increase in the level of subsidy provided by the government for the modernization program for public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Gatchalian made the call at a recent Senate hearing on the 2024 proposed budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Under the PUV modernization program, all jeepney engines should at least be Euro-4 and Philippine National Standards (PNS)-compliant.

"From the briefers that I read, the compliance rate right now is only at 60% and the allocation for the modernization for 2024 is zero. In other words, we compel them to modernize but we don't have any support to give them in the next few years," Gatchalian told Transportation officials.

The legislator emphasized that increasing the subsidy should form part of the DOTr's strategy to achieve at least 100% modernization of the country's PUVs. According to the transportation department, one unit of modernized PUV costs P2.4 million to 2.8 million.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista told the committee panel that the department will continue giving equity subsidies to all PUV drivers and operators to help them replace the old units that they currently operate. Bautista said they requested at least 1.6 B for the program for next year.

Under the program, a portion of the fares earned by the jeepney drivers will go to the payment of a modern vehicle. Gatchalian noted, however, that at the time the program was introduced, fuel costs ranged from $20 to $30 per barrel. Fuel prices have since increased to a range of $80 to $90 per barrel due to the Russian-Ukraine conflict.

The deadline for the modernization program was earlier suspended to allow individual jeepney operators to consolidate themselves into a cooperative. The deadline for consolidation has been set for December 31 this year. "It's a step towards the right direction that we are modernizing through the cooperatives," Gatchalian said.

The transportation department also said that certain private sector groups are interested in venturing into manufacturing modernized PUVs which could keep the cost in the lower end of the range.


Gatchalian gustong padagdagan ang subsidiya ng gobyerno sa PUV modernization program

Nanawagan si Senador Win Gatchalian ng pagtaas ng halaga ng subsidiya ng gobyerno para sa modernization program ng public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Ito ang naging panawagan ni Gatchalian sa nakaraang pagdinig ng Senado hinggil sa panukalang pondo ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) para sa susunod na taon. Sa ilalim ng PUV modernization program, lahat ng jeepney ay dapat may makinang Euro-4 o sumusunod sa Philippine National Standards (PNS).

"Sa mga briefer na nabasa ko, nasa 60% lang ang compliance rate ngayon at walang alokasyon para sa PUV modernization sa 2024 national budget. Sa madaling salita, pinipilit natin silang mag-modernize pero wala naman pala tayong ibinibigay na anumang suporta," ang sabi ni Gatchalian sa mga opisyal ng DOTr.

Binigyang-diin ng mambabatas na ang pagtaas ng halaga ng subsidiya ay dapat maging bahagi ng estratehiya ng DOTr upang makamit ang target na 100% modernisasyon sa hanay ng mga PUV sa bansa. Ayon sa DOTr, ang isang unit ng modernized PUV ay nagkakahalaga ng P2.4 milyon hanggang P2.8 milyon.

Sinabi naman ni Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista na ipagpapatuloy ng departamento ang pagbibigay ng equity subsidies sa lahat ng PUV drivers at operators upang matulungan silang palitan ang mga lumang unit na kasalukuyang gamit nila. Aniya, humihiling sila ng P1.6 B para sa naturang programa para sa susunod na taon.

Sa ilalim ng naturang programa, ang bahagi ng pamasahe na kikitain ng mga jeepney driver ay mapupunta sa pambayad ng utang na halagang pinambili ng modernong sasakyan. Gayunpaman, sinabi rin ni Gatchalian na noong ipinakilala ang programa, ang halaga ng langis sa pandaigdigang pamilihan ay naglalaro lamang sa $20 hanggang $30 kada bariles. Mula noon, umakyat na ang presyo ng gasolina sa $80 hanggang $90 kada bariles bunga na rin ng giyera sa pagitan ng Russia at Ukraine.

Nauna nang sinuspinde ang deadline para sa modernization program upang payagan ang mga jeepney operator na sumali sa isang kooperatiba. Ang deadline para sa consolidation ng mga jeepney operator ay nakatakda sa Disyembre 31 ngayong taon. "Ito ay isang hakbang tungo sa tamang direksyon na ang modernisasyon ay ginagawa sa pamamagitan ng kooperatiba," sabi ni Gatchalian.

Sinabi rin ng departamento na ilang mga private groups ay interesadong sumabak sa manufacturing ng modernized PUVs na magpapababa ng halaga.

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