Transport coops support PUV modernization, air concerns

MANILA Transport cooperatives are not against the Duterte administration's Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) but they have some concerns on the financing mechanism to help their members replace their old jeepneys.

On Monday, transport cooperatives aired their concerns about the PUVMP during the Cooperative Development Authority's open forum dubbed as KooperatiBalitaan in Quezon City after Office of Transport Cooperatives (OTC) Board Secretary Ramil Urrera discussed the updates and benefits of the program.

Barangka Cooperative member Rodolfo Cruz said he is not against the program but he is concerned about their members who are still paying for jeepneys they acquired through loans years ago.

Kakayanin po kaya nila bayaran ang loan sa Landbank para sa bagong jeep gayong may loan pa sila sa amin? Doble na po ang magiging problema ng driver-operator na tinutulungan naming magkaroon ng unit. (Can they afford to pay Landbank for their loan for a new jeep when they still have a loan with us? The driver-operator we're helping to have their own unit would have to deal with these problems)," Cruz asked.

Urrera said that the Development Bank of the Philippines will lend money to the cooperatives and not to individual operators or drivers, making them co-owners.

"The cooperatives will manage the giving of salaries twice a month, on the 15th and on the 30th, depending on their salary. They will study the distribution of income," he said in Filipino.

For her part, Ramona Delos Santos of the Taguig Transport Service Group asked the Department of Trade Industry (DTI) to protect small transport cooperatives from unscrupulous businessmen who jack up price of the units. She claimed that they would not be able to use their old units once they turn them over to the government for scrapping, citing the disadvantage of having their old units scrapped as part of the approval of their loan for a new unit.

Magkakaron po kame ng gap of 90 days from scrappage of old units hanggang sa makuha namen ang bagong units. Saan po kme kukuha ng income kung isu-surrender agad namin ang lumang units? (We will have a gap of 90 days from scrappage of old units until we get the new units. Where are we going to get income if we will surrender the old units right away?) Delos Santos lamented.

OTC Executive Director Eugene Pabola said local manufacturers who will join the program would be given incentives to bring down the price of modern units.

Cynthia Uy of the Cavite Transport Service Cooperative said local government units (LGUs) should also be active in information dissemination with regard to the modernization program.

The LGUs are unaware of the updates and the joint memorandum circular of DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) and DOTr (Department of Transportation), Uy said.

Urerra said they are doing their best to update all the stakeholders on the PUVMP.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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