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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Anakpawis: Jeepney phase out to cause high transport fare

MABALACAT CITY -- The Anakpawis Party-list has warned that the phasing out of jeepney will result to high transportation fare.

Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao slammed the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) for its bullish approach for the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program that is synonymous to “jeepney phase out.”

The lawmaker said that it would lead to high cost of transport that will "certainly impact the commuting public."

“The PUV modernization program clearly favors foreign monopoly corporations and will displace not just drivers and operators, but also mechanics and other laborers working on jeepney’s integral sectors,” Casilao said.

Last June, the Department of Finance estimated that the program would cost P417 billion for the next five years, including the P8-billion subsidy for the purchase of the vehicle and P3.9 billion for the Office of Transport Cooperatives.

“If that would be the cost of replacing the cheap and accessible jeepney transportation, the commuting public will be bound to shell out more and drivers will be working just to be indebted,” Casilao said.

It was reported that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) partnered with the Land Bank of the Philippines for a P2.2 billion fund package.

It will cover the initial P80,000 needed for the purchase of the vehicle, and the driver is required to pay amortization at around P800 per day, with six percent interest per annum for seven years.

“If the driver is to pay about P24,000 per month for the vehicle, it is no different from simply buying a present model among modern vehicles manufactured by big foreign companies, therefore, to cover the costs, it will push up rates of transport fare, to be exacted from the public,” the lawmaker said.

He added that total cost of the program denotes the profitability of the program for the benefit of foreign monopoly corporations, on the other hand, that will be sourced out from the commuting public, taxpayers and would-be workers on the sector.

“We don’t believe that the minimum fare will be fixed at P10 but steep, we blame the Duterte administration for this anti-people and neo-liberal program and we are already anticipating a snowballing public resentment as this program is doomed to fail, at the same time, to exploit the poor sectors,” he said.
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