If you follow the news regularly, you may have come across some recent reports that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will no longer seek to modernize all jeepneys as part of its Public Utility Modernization Program (PUVMP). The headlines came out following the most recent Senate briefing on the DOTr’s P147-billion budget, and the agency has since made some clarifications regarding the issue.
“Walang sinabi ang DOTr na hindi nito itutuloy ang pagpapatupad ng PUV Modernization Program,” the DOTR said in a statement. “Ang nabanggit ay kung sakali mang mabigo ang mga operator ng mga lumang jeepney na mag-modernize ng kanilang mga unit pagsapit ng July 2020, pansamantala ay pahihintulutan muna sila ng DOTr na makapamasada sa kondisyong papasa ang kanilang mga lumang unit sa roadworthiness test sa ilalim ng technology-based Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS), na walang human intervention. Layunin nitong tiyaking ligtas pa rin sa kalsada ang mga lumang modelo ng PUV.”
If the old jeepneys are deemed roadworthy by the MVIS, its operators will be given a ‘provisional authority’(PA) that will be effective for only one year—after this period, the jeepneys will have to undergo the MVIS check once more.
The said operators will also have to submit a petition for consolidation by June 30, 2020, for them to be granted the necessary PA, as well as a petition stating their intentions to participate in the government’s PUVMP. If the operators fail to submit these requirements by the deadline, the ‘prior operator rule’ will cease to take effect and existing routes will be open to other transport cooperatives with modernized PUVs in their fleet.
“Dagdag pa dito, oras na may PUVMP-compliant na kooperatiba o korporasyon na ang mabigyan ng prangkisa sa rutang tinatakbuhan ng lumang jeepney, automatic na makakansela na ang PA na ibinigay dito,” the agency added.
With the modernizations of PUVs in full swing, what can you say about these recent developments? The comments section is open.