Jeepneys may hike fare only if compliant with modernization program
CITY OF MALOLOS — A fare increase for jeepneys is likely – but only if drivers and operators submit to the requirements of a transport modernization program, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said here on Friday.
Tugade drew applause from 1,000 members of the Bulacan Jeepney Drivers and Operators Federation when he said they could expect an increase in P10 in fare.
“For as long as they are compliant with the modernization plan, we can discuss a fare increase and how much it can be raised,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting with transport representatives in Bulacan province.
Tugade asked Bulacan drivers and transport to support the modernization program which would require jeepneys to use environmentally-friendly Euro 4 engines and Wifi connections, among other things.
The jeepneys should also be enclosed with a passenger cabin that has a high ceiling and with facilities to accommodate disabled motorists.
Tugade said the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines would provide loan packages to help drivers and operators buy jeeps worth at least P1 million each.
The loans will have a fixed 6-percent interest rate, payable in seven years and with a government equity of P80,000.
But Tugade clarified that the loan packages embedded in the modernization program would be available on a “first come-first served” basis.
He did not comment when asked if the program took into account the impact of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law (Republic Act No. 10963). The law imposed excise taxes on fuel that increased gasoline prices this month.
According to Tugade, the modernization program does not prevent local suppliers from producing eco-friendly jeepneys and competing with those from established car manufacturers, provided they follow the requirements set by DOTr.
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