Different transport groups have been conducting transport strikes to oppose the jeepney modernization program proposed by the government. This program aims to phase out the king of the Pinoy road, the public utility jeepney.
To understand more about the jeepney modernization program and why the jeepney coalitions were staging transport strike, please read on.
What does the jeepney modernization program really mean?
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board or LTFRB had disclosed its plan to impose a limit about the age of public transport vehicles. According to the LTFRB’s Resolution No. 2013-10, public vehicles that were operating more than 15 years will be decommissioned as support to the goal of the Department of Transportation to overhaul the public transport system.
The modernization program won’t only affect the jeepneys but also other public vehicles such as vans and buses. The main objective of the program is to implement a transport system that would not add pollution to the environment and at the same time to ensure safe and reliable mode of transportation for the riding public.
How the program will be implemented?
Aside from recalling all aging jeepneys, the LTFRB board will also implement other measures to make the system more rational. They want to implement routes for the public transport that will cause less traffic. With this, Senate Bill 1284 and House Bill 4434 will be implemented for the route rationalization.
The LTFRB is just waiting for the approval of the Bill and have it signed by the President that gives them the go signal to issue new line franchises and revoke the old ones. Likewise, single unit operators won’t be allowed to apply for new franchises. Instead, operators with 40 units under its fleet will be allowed to apply for new franchise.
The good thing about the jeepney modernization program is that it’s not only about vehicle upgrade but will also implement regular salaries of drivers along with other employment benefits and adequate training as well.
In contrast to what the transport coalition leaders were saying that PUJ will be totally phased out, Atty. Aileen Lizada, the LTFRB spokesperson said that it isn’t true. Instead, they will just introduce new type of jeepney that is environmentally friendlier and more efficient.
Modernized jeepneys will feature 26-person seating capacity, GPS navigation, automated fare collection system, and side entrance. The Department of Transportation will shoulder the costs or will give capital to operators to buy the new ones, as Lizada said.