Modern jeepneys' cost may push drivers to earn P6K daily – solon

Modern jeepneys’ cost may push drivers to earn P6K daily – solon

/ 01:56 PM January 10, 2024

Modern jeepney's high cost may press drivers to earn P6K a day, according to a lawmaker

Modern jeepneys are parked at a terminal in San Juan City as the House committee on transportation prepares to look into alleged irregularities in implementing the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program. INQUIRER / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Modern jeepneys would cost P1.6 million to P2.4 million, and drivers would need to earn around P6,000 to P7,000 a day if they should acquire it, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

1-Rider Party-list Rep. Bonifacio Bosita also warned that for drivers and operators to pay off their modernized jeepney loans, base fares may rise between P30 and P40 based on his computations – even with the government’s subsidy considered.


During the hearing of the House committee on transportation, Bosita asked the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), particularly Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III, several times about the cost of updated jeepneys under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).


His question stemmed from his worry that drivers may not meet the required loan payments for modern jeepneys.

READ: PUV modernization: Understanding defiance of operators, drivers

Jeepney drivers and operators are being asked to consolidate and upgrade their units under the PUVMP to make public transportation safer and more environment-friendly.

“If we compute this, Mr. Chair, our drivers need to hit a target of more or less P4,000 to P5,000 per day – that’s without what they need to earn for their livelihood.  And if we say that drivers are hardworking and even endure hunger, they would need to have a P1,500 to P2,000 per day income for themselves,” Bosita, who represents motorists in Congress, said in Filipino.

“So approximately, Mr. Chair, a total of P7,000 per day. The question for LTFRB is, have you studied the effects of the PUVMP? How much would the base fare of the commuters be so that drivers meet the requirement of P7,000 per day, more or less?”


LTFRB officials said they have not considered fare increases to fund jeepney drivers and operators’ loan payments, noting that the current baseline cost of P15 would stay. Guadiz said that while modernized jeepneys cost P1.6 million to P2.4 million, local manufacturers offer upgraded units at P980,000.

READ: Tulfo rejects idea to include China manufacturers in PUV modernization

But Bosita maintained that the LTFRB should also consider how much jeepney fares would rise because drivers and operators need to find ways to pay off their loans.

“Mr. Chair, we are so focused on this amount because, of course, the bigger the amount, the bigger the expenses that people would shoulder. Why the people? Because drivers would not have enough to pay the loans, where would they get the money?  From commuters, so it’s the people who would shoulder this,” Bosita pointed out.

“With respect to LTFRB, if I am not mistaken with my analysis, with the P15 base fare for jeepneys, drivers cannot live by this because they cannot pay off their loan obligations […] based on my personal evaluation, the base fare would increase to P30 to P40 so that drivers can cover what they need to pay,” he added.

Other lawmakers like Sagip party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta asked LTFRB if Bosita’s computations were correct, as the figures are alarming.

READ: DOTr rules out fare hike due to PUV modernization

In response, Guadiz said the figures are correct but only to a certain extent – if jeepney drivers or operators would avail of modernized jeepneys that cost P1.6 million to P2.4 million. Guadiz then reiterated that cheaper, updated jeepney options are available.

“Are the computations presented by Congressman Bosita a while ago, what drivers need to earn per day, based on what the cooperative procured, correct?  It was asked of LTFRB a while ago, but we did not get a correct answer. Is the computation of P6,000 to P7,000 per day accurate, Mr. LTFRB?” Marcoleta asked.

“Mr. Chair, the premise of the question is based on the acquisition cost of P1.8 million to P2.4 million; as of now, we have jeepneys that are running from the cost of P980,000,” Guadiz said.

“We respectfully differ with the computation of the Honorable Congressman Bosita based on certain premises po. It is accurate on the premise kapag ang (that the) cost ng (of) vehicles [is at least P1.6 million],” Guadiz added.

The House is probing the PUVMP upon the instructions of Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who raised concerns about corruption allegations made by drivers and operators in the implementation of the program.

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Romualdez noted reports claiming that transport officials are conspiring with previous transport officials in negotiating for the imported modernized jeepney units that are more expensive than the locally-produced ones.

He also appealed to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to extend the implementation of the PUVMP until the government resolves the concerns of jeepney drivers and operators.

TAGS: LTFRB, PUV modernization program, Transport

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