Tugade offers loans to Bulacan jeepney drivers to upgrade PUVs
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has spearheaded a dialogue with leaders and members of the Bulacan Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association to further explain the government’s proposed public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, together with Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado, told jeepney operators and drivers in the dialogue held Friday afternoon at the Bulacan Convention Center, the program would be beneficial to all.
Tugade allayed concerns of the jeepney operators and drivers that the modernization program would lead to the loss of their livelihood.
“The government only intends to modernize jeepneys in the country and this program seeks to upgrade jeepneys into an environment friendly transport service that will ensure safety and convenience of commuters and we would like to assure you that this will not lead to the loss of your livelihood,” Tugade said.
To address the concern of jeepney operators and drivers of undue economic burden from having to purchase brand new PUJ units, the DOTr Secretary briefed them on the government’s loan assistance.
Tugade said the government was offering to the possible beneficiaries a six percent loan interest based on diminishing balance if they avail of the modernization program and inquiries can be made at the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines local offices.
Governor Alvarado, for his part, asked Secretary Tugade if the loan scheme provided by the government could be patterned after the German government’s loan scheme that had a lower interest rate compared to the six percent being offered by the government.
This way, micro, small, medium entrepreneurs like the jeepney drivers and operators could maximize the benefits of getting loans and at the same time be advantageous to the riding public with lesser fare hikes, he said.
To reduce the impact on capital outlay to buy the compliant vehicle, Tugade advised the jeepney drivers and operators to form a cooperative.
He also pointed out that vehicles, even those from different manufacturers, were guaranteed to have an approval for its operation as long as it was compliant with the modernization program.
He likewise said that operators of compliant vehicles could come forward to the DOTr so that they could be endorsed to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to start the negotiations for fare hike demand. (Philippine News Agency)
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