MANILA — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) welcomes the support of President Rodrigo Duterte to the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) which aims to ensure a safe, convenient and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation to commuters.
In a statement, DOTr said they share the vision of the President to implement the necessary reforms in the public transport sector.
“We draw our strength and energy from the President’s constant reminder to always be guided by the public good and give the Filipino people the service they deserve. We are one with the President in effecting badly needed reforms in the public transportation sector. Rest assured that we will not stop until these reforms are put into effect,” it said.
DOTr also thanked the support of various transportation groups to the PUVMP. It also expressed willingness to have a dialogue with various sectors of the society on the benefits of the modernization program.
The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) recently staged a two-day transport strike against the PUVMP amid concerns that it might lead to the displacement of livelihood of jeepney drivers and operators.
Meanwhile, Malacanang has stated that the President’s statement on the PUVMP Tuesday manifests his political will in effecting reforms in the country.
“With the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), everybody benefits – from drivers, operators and most especially the millions of commuters. The President’s fervid support of modernization goes back to the attempts of previous administrations to whose attempts to do the same but had been thwarted due to similar ideologically based transport strikes and protests. However, when public good is at stake, the Duterte administration will not compromise. This is the message of the President’s speech yesterday. It underscores the national leadership’s strong political will and decisive stance to initiate reform in the public transportation sector,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement.
PISTON national president George Mateo has stated that they are seeking for a dialogue with the President on the PUVMP.
PISTON is asking the government to put on hold the implementation of the program to pave way for a review of its guidelines and formulate a new framework that will enable a nationalized, efficient and affordable public transportation system in the country.
Under the PUV Modernization Program, jeepney units that are 15 years old will be replaced with Euro 4 engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs. These will also be equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi. (PNA)