DOTr says 170K old jeepney units to be scrapped
Some 170,000 old jeepney units in the Philippines will be discarded as part of the government's public utility vehicle modernization program in exchange for up to P30,000, the Department of Transportation ( DOtr) said on Tuesday.
In an interview in Malacanang, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transportation and Infrastructure Mark de Leon said the government is targeting to fully phase out the 170,000 jeepney units, which are at least 15 years old by the middle of 2020.
"We will be accrediting scrapping companies. They will scrap (the jeepneys) and then they (owners) will receive the scrap value...we are looking at P20,000 to P30,000 (each)," he said when asked what the government would do with the 170,000 old jeepney units.
He refused to call the modernization of PUVs as "phasing out" of the old jeepneys.
He said the scrapping of old units would be mandatory as they would no longer be given new plate numbers as private vehicles because "they did not pass the Clean Air Act standard."
The government is also doing away with the "iconic" design of Filipino jeepney.
"It's true, It's (jeepney) a Filipino icon, but for us, we want to say that it exemplifies the Filipino attitude; it exemplifies however why we have failed in public transportation...it shows our 'pwede na attitude'...even if it's very old already, it's still okay. That's our attitude," De Leon said in a press briefing.
Under the PUV modernization program, new "safe, efficient and comfortable" vehicles would replace the "unreliable, inefficient" jeepneys, De Leon said.
He said it is wrong to consider the operation of jeepneys as a source of livelihood.
"I will tell you guys, it's a wrong notion that a public transportation is a livelihood... it should be treated as a public transport service instead of a business?instead of a livelihood business," he said, noting that it is the state, which grants the franchise to operate public transport service.
Out of the 170,000 jeepney units, the official said the government would allow only about 119,000 to 136,000 new units to operate in the country.
The cost of each new jeepney unit is about P1.6 million to P1.8 million, De Leon said.
He said the government is encouraging the jeepney operators to form cooperatives in order to lower the cost of their operation.
The government is also providing P80,000 fund as a subsidy for jeepney operators for each vehicle, which is payable in seven years with an interest rate of 6 percent annually.
The operators could avail the loan from the state-run Land Bank of the Philippines or the Development Bank of the Philippines. Celerina Monte/DMS