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Palace assures jeepney phase out won’t result in jobless drivers: Pampalaki ‘to ng kita!

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Malacañang has assured jeepney drivers that they will still have jobs despite the government’s plan to phase out old models of the public utility vehicle (PUV).

In a statement Thursday (December 28), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque denied the allegation of some transport groups that the PUV modernization program is anti-poor.

“We assure Filipino jeepney drivers that this initiative of the government to improve our public transport sector will not put them out of business. It was not designed to phase out jeepneys. In fact, the program aims to strengthen and guarantee the profitability of the jeepney business,” he said.

Roque said the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other related government agencies are exhausting all efforts to address the concerns of jeepney drivers regarding the program.

Among these efforts, he said, is the provision of a financing scheme for acquisition of new units available through the Development Bank of the Philippines’ Support Alternative Driving Approaches (Pasada) Program and Landbank of the Philippines’ Special Environment-Friendly and Efficiently Driven (SPEED) Jeepney Program.

The Department of Finance, meanwhile, is offering a seven-year financing package at a 5-percent equity and six percent interest on top of the P80,000 subsidy per unit to cover the equity payment.

“In addition, there is zero or low maintenance cost of new units in the first 3 years, which translates to savings,” Roque said.

Under the PUV modernization program, jeepneys that are more than 15 years old will be phased out and replaced with newer units that comply with the specifications indicated by the DOTr.

The agency has said that the PUV modernization program will proceed as scheduled in January 2018.

Old jeeps, the DOTr said, will be off the road over a period of three years.