Issue of September 17, 2017
     
NEWS
Abra
Benguet
Kalinga
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

2017
Panagbenga Flower Festival
 
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Hybrid jeepneys unpopular in Cordillera’s urban hubs
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

As the government is inching forward to modernizing the widely used mode of public transportation in the country, local governments have taken the side of the transport sector and backed the mounting opposition to it.

In Baguio, the city council passed a resolution supporting jeepney operators and drivers in the city and Benguet opposed to the phasing out of old jeepneys. Those in the public transportation sector are opposing the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) PUV modernization program particularly the requirement to shift to “modern” vehicles.

The DOTr unveiled the PUV modernization program last June 19.

Echoing the sentiment of PUV drivers and operators, the city council said DOTr’s plan to phase-out old jeepneys has economic repercussions. With a wide margin of the public using jeepneys and buses as primary mode of transportation, the city council said the phase-out is burdensome not just to the drivers, but to the public as well.

Instead of a phase-out, the city council said the current Euro-2 vehicle engines need only to undergo regular and proper maintenance to avoid emission of fumes that is hurting public health and the environment.

The resolution will be submitted to the Office of the President.

The modernization program of the country’s transportation system involves several components.

These are: PUVs should be Euro-4 compliant and equipped with CCTV, GPS navigation system, automatic fare collection system, speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi; updating of PUV franchising system; nationwide route rationalization; and driver’s training on road safety.

Said to be a major source of air pollution, the DOTr is pushing for the phase-out of old jeepneys and other PUVs.

The 2016 cost-benefit study on alternative technologies for the jeepney by Blacksmith Institute and Clean Air Asia showed that heavy reliance on jeepneys have serious impacts on the environment and health.

The study recommended for the Philippines to adopt electronic jeepneys initially in short and flat routes in central business districts; adopt Euro-4 diesel jeepneys in routes where electric jeepneys could not be initially adopted; and adopt Euro-4 for mini buses.

To cover the costs, the study suggested for government to provide long-term amortization programs and subsidize acquisition of modern jeepneys. Subsidy may come from a “Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund.”

The study also suggested a vehicle scrapping scheme to ensure that these will not put back into the public transportation system.

Other government agencies involved in the transport modernization program are the department of Interior and Local Government, Energy, and Trade and Industry.


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Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
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Department of Agriculture – CAR
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