Salceda presents options to implement PUVMP

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The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) should not totally “abolish” the traditional jeepney, but should rather modernize the renowned Filipino vehicle, by opting for locally made but fuel-efficient vehicles. 

House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda issued the statement as he called on the government to extend the deadline for consolidation for jeepneys manufactured in recent years and to support domestic manufacturers of cheaper and more modern jeepneys.

“I would summarize my proposal in three points: First, support domestic manufacturing of more modern and more efficient, but similarly stylish jeepneys. Second, increase the subsidy per unit to meet the financial viability gap. Third, buy out old jeepneys for cash,” Salceda said.

Salceda also told the Department of Transportation to consider emissions “on a per capita basis,” since the more modern jeepneys “can accommodate fewer passengers than traditional jeepneys.”

According to Salceda, the traditional jeepney produces some 0.33 kg of CO2 emissions per passenger per year, while the modern jeepneys would still produce some 0.25 kg per passenger due to smaller capacity.

“It’s a 31 percent saving in per passenger emissions for a vehicle that costs as much as 620 percent more. We need a cheaper, domestically manufactured jeepney that modernizes the traditional one,” the Albay lawmaker said.

Salceda added the government should first ensure that the domestic jeepney-manufacturing sector is an option for the PUVMP, and assist it in producing cheaper but similarly modern and efficient units.

“If we can bring the cost of the unit to P600,000 to P1 million, that becomes more realistic for both the jeepney operator, and on a cost-benefit basis. I think the domestic manufacturing sector can do it. But we need to support them,” he pointed out. 

“By that figure, you bring ROI to around 7.4 years. Otherwise, with these supposedly modern but still very expensive jeepneys, you run into the same problem,” he added. 

Salceda projects that sans subsidies, operators will need as much as 22 years to recoup the value of their investments in new jeepneys.

“It’s not that jeepney operators don’t want to modernize. It’s just that, financially, it’s suicide. It makes no sense.”