DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista said the agency’s line of communication is always open to transport groups who may have misconceptions about the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) and vows to coordinate with them in ironing out issues through “honest communication.”
The transportation chief issued the statement after the Pagkakaisa ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) staged the first of its three-day transport protest.
“I still believe we can resolve the issues through honest communication. We have been fine tuning the program according to the voices of transport groups,” Sec. Bautista said.
“In the PUV Modernization Program, we ensure no one gets left behind,” he added.
Sec. Bautista said he reached out to PISTON President Mody Floranda to correct several misconceptions about the PUV Modernization such as the perceived phase out of traditional jeepneys, high cost of modern jeepneys, as well as the forced purchase of units costing P2 million each.
Many jeepney operators and drivers who have consolidated into cooperatives have already complied with the program, according to the transport chief.
Over 5,000 routes with 135,761 consolidated franchises have been approved, and operated by 1,838 cooperatives and consolidated companies.
Under the modernization program, transport cooperatives can avail themselves of financial assistance on top of a government subsidy to upgrade their PUV fleet with low-carbon emission, safe and efficient units.