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Jeepney modernization needs ‘tune-up’ – Recto

March 1, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 264 views

IF cars undergo regular checkups, so must the jeepney fleet replacement program “so that if factory defects are found, then these can be corrected,” House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto said Wednesday.

“‘Di ba yung kotse nga may PMS (preventive maintenance schedule), kaya dapat ganun din ang jeepney modernization program,” Recto said.

There is no harm, he said, “in looking under the hood of the program. A tune-up is not a bad thing.”

Recto said the government should look into the “(catalog) of complaints, from financing to roadworthiness to affordability, before proceeding with the program.”

“Parang kotse ‘yan. If many alarm lights on the dashboard are blinking, then you must step on the brake. You don’t step on the gas,” he said.

He said all stakeholders are united on the idea of modernizing the jeep under a program that is affordable, just, consultative, and democratic.

“So itong panawagan na i-evaluate ang programa ay beneficial speedbumps to ensure that the program will not crash,” Recto said. “Policy recklessness is more dangerous than reckless driving.”

Recto called for a “fleet inventory” to determine how many modern jeepneys are still running.

“Kumusta naman po ang maintenance expenses nila? Mahal ba o mura? Matibay ba sila o sirain? Mayroon bang ready spare parts?” he asked.

He also urged the government to take “a dipstick reading” of the income of drivers and cooperatives “if they are able to amortize the units.”

By January 2020, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) had already approved loans for the purchase of 2,122 units worth P4.46 billion.

“Kamustahin natin sila kung on time bang nakakapagbayad ng installment. What is the success rate? What is the bankruptcy ratio?” Recto said.

Another area of review, he said, is government’s record in spending appropriated funds for the program. “May isang official report na 0.3 percent lang ang disbursement rate.”