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Gov appeals to banks to aid PUV modernization program

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By Freddie C. Velez

City of Malolos, Bulacan — While he welcomed the benefits to the general public of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program, Governor Wilhelmino M. Sy- Alvarado of this province yesterday called on banks and financial institutions to support the program by affording jeepney operators easy financing terms to acquire new vehicles that are safer and environment-friendly.

Alvarado appealed to the banks and other financing institutions to ensure that their terms would not be burdensome, adding that it would help a lot if they could find more ways to lower the interest of the loans that would be extended to the drivers and operators.

Last Friday, the governor addressed his appeal to representatives of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). Their response was that they will discuss the issue with their respective top management so that appropriate measures would be done for the successful implementation of the jeepney modernization program.

Their public meeting at The Pavilion, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in this city was also a venue for Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade to face representatives of the Bulacan Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (BFJODA) in a bid to explain the government’s jeepney modernization program and address concerns from affected stakeholders in the province.

One of the apprehensions raised by a BFJODA representative is the cost of financing the new units pushed by government to replace old and dilapidated jeepneys.

In his response, Tugade said that the DOTr has a prepared a formula for financing the new PUVs which it dubbed as “5-6-7-80,000.” “’Yung 5, equity; ’yung 6, ito po ’yung interes; ’yung 7, eto ho ‘yung term ng pagbabayad – 7 years; at ’yung 80,000 ho ang subsidy ng gobyerno sa bawat jeep (5 stands for the equity; 6 for the interest rate; 7 for the 7-year payment term; and 80,000 for the government subsidy on each jeepney),” he said.

He assured them that government is doing its best to address their concerns but, at the same time, appealed to them to listen, understand, and give the PUV Modernization Program a chance.

For her part, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Board Member Aileen Lizada reminded drivers and operators of the five points they need to comply with during the three-year transition. These are that the wheels, emission, hand break, and lights must be in tip-top or good condition, and that the drivers should wear uniforms.

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