Senator Ralph Recto has questioned the rush with which the Department of Transportation (DOTr) wants to implement the jeepney modernization program despite its hefty price tag.
During plenary debates on the DOTr’s proposed P70.3-billion budget for 2018 Monday (October 9), Recto expressed his misgivings about the agency’s plan to phase old jeepneys out nationwide and all at once.
“Subukan nila muna, mag-test muna sila. That is my problem, palitan lahat. Subukan ninyo muna,” he told Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, who sponsored the DOTr’s budget.
Recto noted that the jeepney modernization program will not come cheap, with the government poised to spend P300 billion over the next three years to subsidize the drivers’ acquisition of new jeepneys.
The Land Bank of the Philippines and other government banks, meanwhile, will set aside P280 billion to loan to the drivers so they can pay for the balance of getting a new jeep.
Recto said it will be better if the DOTr spends its efforts first on implementing urgent projects, such as the issuance of driver’s licenses and car plates, as well as improving the traffic situation.
“Iyong babaguhin natin lahat ng jeep ay makaka-resolve ba ng traffic iyan? Saka na iyan, ayusin muna iyong EDSA; ayusin ninyo muna iyong traffic; ayusin muna iyong MRT,” he said.
“Before we start Metro Manila, ilabas muna iyong plaka, pwede ba iyon? Tutal first quarter naman daw ng 2018. Para may focus. Hindi iyong kalat iyong pag-iisip,” Recto added.
Hari ng sablay! Tugade piles up P86B in idle funds, still has nerve to ask another P70B for 2018