Around 18,000 units complied with PUV modernization – LTFRB

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Transport groups protest the government's PUV modernization program on September 30, 2019. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 30) — Amid an ongoing nationwide protest, transport authorities maintained there are thousands who are in favor of the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra said Monday there have been more or less than 18,000 units of various modes of public transport across the nation that have complied with the modernization program. Of this number 5,642 are jeepneys. Earlier, Delgra told CNN Philippines the number of authorized units was at 7,000 but he corrected the number after a press conference in the afternoon.

“These (protesters) are the noisy few compared to the many who are very supportive of modernization program,” Delgra told CNN Philippines’ New Day.

The Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) said there will be 70,000 UV Express and jeepney member units taking part in the transport strike today. In the meantime, the government set up bus services for inconvenienced commuters.

Metro Manila Development Authority Spokesperson Celine Pialago said they were able to accommodate all stranded passengers.

Hindi matatawag na successful ang pagpapahirap sa mga commuters,” Pialago told CNN Philippines. “The government will never allow them to be successful.”

[Translation: Their attempt to inconvenience commuters was not successful.]


The program ordered in 2017, aims to phase out old jeepneys and UV Express service vehicles by 2020, and replace them with units that have environment-friendly engines such as the Euro Diesel 4.

However, transport groups are concerned about the costs. Stop and Go coalition called the program “anti-poor”since modern jeepneys are worth over ₱2 million. Meanwhile, government data said they cost from ₱1.2 million to ₱1.8 million.

Delgra assured that they have financial schemes in place to address this concern. He said they will be providing five percent equity, six percent interest and a payment period of seven years. Congress also agreed to give a subsidy of ₱80,000 per PUV unit, he added.

“We have negotiated with the government financial institution para reasonable at hindi mabigat sa ating mga [so it won’t be heavy on our] PUJ operators who are willing to participate in the modernization program,” Delgra assured.

The LTFRB chief reiterated his warning on suspending or cancelling the franchises of operators who participate in transport strikes. He reminded them that their jeepneys are a “special privilege” from the government.

“For them to participate in transport strike that is prejudicial to our commuters, obviously that runs counter or violative of that privilege given to them, so it is just but right that government take it back from them,” Delgra said.

He maintained that modernizing public transport is a necessity for the good of the public.

“We need to raise the level of standard of service as well as modernize our transportation system,” he said.