CEBU

Roadworthy jeepneys ‘still allowed after 2020’

(File photo)

THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, that old roadworthy jeepneys will be allowed to operate in 2020 even with the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

“To clarify, we shall allow existing PUJs to serve the riding public after June 30, 2020, until the compliant substitute arrives,” the DOTr said in a statement posted on its website at www.dotr.gov.ph.

DOTr issued the clarification after the budget hearing at the Senate on Wednesday, Nov. 20, where senators questioned the rate of the government’s modernization program.

During the budget hearing, Sen. Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Public Services Committee, said the DOTr is a “bit off-target,” as it has only been able to modernize 2,595 units, or 1.5 percent of its target, since the program was launched in 2017.

“What we said in the Senate yesterday was we will consider not phasing out units of existing operators who fail to meet the July 2020 deadline. We will allow their units to travel as long as these pass the Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS),” the statement said in a mix of Tagalog and English.

If the units pass the MVIS, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will issue a provisional authority (PA) that is only valid for one year. The units will have to be checked for road worthiness every year after that and pass so these can continue to ply the streets, the statement said.

Old jeepneys will be allowed to operate provided these pass the computerized MVIS.

Existing operators need to file a petition for consolidation on or before June 30, 2020 and express their petition to modernize.

Should operators fail to file for consolidation by this date, their route will be opened to all interested applicants and they will no longer enjoy the prior operator rule.

The DOTr said “walang forever na PA (the PA will expire after one year).” If they don’t file a petition and they don’t modernize, canceled na ang PA nila (their PA is canceled),” the DOTr statement said.

DOTr said that Secretary Arthur Tugade will continue to implement the PUVMP to ensure a safe public transport system.

PUVMP, launched in 2017, requires jeepney operators to replace their old units with Euro-4 powered and industry-standard engines.

Cebu Integrated Transport Service Multi-purpose Cooperative chairman Benjamin Ryan Yu said there is no stopping the PUVMP because of the current administration’s strong will.

“We’re not saying we are against it. Our proposal is to extend the transition period. The three years they gave us is too short. It should be at least five years. That way, we can replace our units on a staggered basis, little by little,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

He said they are preparing for the full implementation of the program and their members have been undergoing training.

“It’s not that we don’t like to be modernize. We want to replace but there should be a program.” he said. MVG, JCT


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