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Vroom vroom! Modern jeeps to roll out in Taguig, Pateros

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MANILA — Some 35 modern jeepney units started to operate in Taguig City and Pateros roads on Wednesday after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has authorized two transport cooperatives to operate modern jeepneys in areas.

The initiative is in line with the Duterte administration’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Road Transport Mark Richmund de Leon and LTFRB-National Capital Region Director Zona Russet Tamayo awarded a provisional authority to the Pateros-Fort Bonifacio Transport Service and Multi-Purpose Cooperative, which operates the Pateros-Fort Bonifacio route; and Taguig Transport Service Cooperative, which operates the Taguig City-Pasig City route.

In a statement, the LTFRB said both routes will be initially served by 35 PUVMP-compliant jeepney units.

The agency has awarded Taguig Transport Service Cooperative with 137 authorized units, while 279 units were authorized for the Pateros-Fort Bonifacio Transport Service and MP Coop. They will be traversing the Bagumbayan, Taguig to Pasig Palengke and Guadalupe market to Fort Bonifacio Gate 3 routes.

During the awarding ceremony of the provisional authority to the transport cooperatives, de Leon thanked the transport organizations for their support to the government’s public transportation modernization program.

“Ang hamon nga sa atin ni Secretary Tugade, maglabas at magbigay tayo ng mga prangkisa sa mga deserving at sumusunod sa panuntunan. ‘Yan po ang ginagawa natin ngayon. It is very easy for us to develop the policy, but, the implementation of this program will take your bravery. So to the coops, the drivers, the operators who braved through the journey, saludo kami sa inyo (The challenge of Secretary Tugade is for us to give franchises to those who are compliant with the guidelines. That is what we are doing now. It is very easy for us to develop the policy, but, the implementation of this program will take your bravery. So to the coops, the drivers, the operators who braved through the journey, we salute you),” he said.

Meanwhile, Freddie Hernandez, chairman of the Taguig Transport Service Cooperative, said: “Ang programang ito ay niyakap namin dahil naniniwala ako na bawat Pilipino ay may karapatang makalanghap ng sariwang hangin. Dahil dito sa programang ito naniniwala ako na ang susunod na henerasiyon ang makikinabang at naniniwala ako na yung magiging apo ko makikita pa uli yung apo niya (We are supporting this program because I believe that every Filipino is entitled to experience clean air. Because of this program, the next generation and those that will come after will benefit from this).”

Last June, the DOTr has authorized the Senate Employees Transport Cooperative (SETSCO) to roll out modern jeepneys traversing the routes of Star City-Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)-Senate to Mall of Asia (MOA) to Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) and back.

The PUVMP will replace jeepney units that are 15 years old with Euro 4-compliant engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs. These modern jeepneys will also be equipped with closed-circuit television cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System, speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi.

The DOTr is providing a subsidy of PHP80,000 for each driver and operator that will comply with the PUVMP, covering the five percent equity of the loan from the Landbank of the Philippines payable within seven years at an interest rate of six percent. (PNA)