Issue of September 17, 2017
Mt. Province

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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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Baguio Country Club
Department of Tourism – CAR
University of Baguio
Venus Parkview Hotel

Congressman Mark O. Go
Department of Health – CAR
Kings College of the Philippines
Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan
Narda’s Handwoven Arts & Crafts Inc.
Philex Mining Corporation
Pines City Colleges
Province of Benguet
Sangguniang Panlungsod
SM City Baguio
Social Security System

Assumption Medical Diagnostic Center
Baguio Center Mall
Baguio Central University
Baguio Heart and Lung Diagnostic Center Inc.
Baguio Memorial Chapels Incorporated
Baguio Water District
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – CAR
C & Triple A Supermart
Congressman Ronald M. Cosalan
Curamed Pharmacy
Data Center College of the Philippines of Baguio City Inc.
Department of Agriculture – CAR
Department of Environment and Natural Resources – CAR
Department of Trade and Industry – CAR
Department of Transportation – CAR
Easter College Incorporated
Fabulo Beauty and Image Salon
Fast East Pacific Commercial
Filipino–Japanese Friendship Association of Northern Luzon, Inc.
GMS Technology
Immigration Network Services, Inc.
La Funeraria Paz, Inc.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda
MMS Development Training Center Corporation
Mother Earth Deli Basket
National Economic & Development Authority–CAR
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration
Philippine Science High School – CARC
R.A. Gapuz Review Center
Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board – CAR
Solibao – Ganza Restaurant
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority
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