DOTr to fight for PUV modernization despite disapproval of P778-M budget

The agency isn’t giving up just yet
by Drei Laurel | Sep 28, 2022
modern PUV set to join the DOTr's PUV Modernization program
PHOTO: Leandre Grecia

Is the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) PUV modernization program (PUVMP) in limbo? If the agency isn’t able to secure funding for the initiative for 2023, it just might be.

Earlier this month, the DOTr failed to secure its P778 million PUV modernization program budget as part of the National Expenditure Program (NEP) in 2023. That sum was supposed to be part of the agency’s proposed P167 billion budget for next year.

Despite this, DOTr undersecretary Mark Pastor says the fight isn’t over.

“We have yet to consider the non-inclusion of the budget as final,” Pastor said during a recent Laging Handa press briefing, adding that the agency continues to lobby for its PUVMP budget in the Senate and House of Representatives.

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Pastor also added that he expects the number of modern PUVs in the Philippines to increase further with loan assistance from Landbank or the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). To date, Pastor says there are around 6,000 modern PUVs operating in the country.

Kapag sa Landbank o sa DBP sila maglo-loan, mayroon pong P160,000 na ibibigay po ang gobyerno bilang pantustos po sa unang pambayad dito sa ating pagbili po ng modern units,” Pastor highlighted during the briefing.

Pastor also explained that other transport projects—like the EDSA Busway and Cebu Bus Rapid Transit—will be pushed for by the DOTr moving forward, too.

Lahat ng mga proyektong nabanggit po na ito ay people-centered at alinsunod na rin po sa isinusulong ng DOTr na ‘we move people and not cars,’” he said.

Do you think the DOTr will be able to fix this situation? Let us know in the comments.

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PHOTO: Leandre Grecia
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