MANILA MalacaAang on Monday said the Department of Transportation's (DOTr) Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program is now in transition stage.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after transport group Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) held a nationwide strike anew to protest the rollout of the government program phasing out jeepneys at least 15 years old.
The Palace also suspended the afternoon classes in all levels in Metro Manila due to the nationwide transport strike.
This is to announce that classes at all levels in Metro Manila have been suspended today, March 19, at 2:00 p.m., the Office of the Executive Secretary announced.
Roque said that although President Rodrigo R. Duterte wanted a complete phaseout of jeepneys as early as January this year, the reality was that it can't be done instantly.
The reality is we cannot completely phase out the jeepneys instantly. So step by step po iyan! Roque said in a briefing in Nabua, Camarines Sur.
Roque also said concerned agencies continue to review the advantages of an upgraded jeepney which will run on electricity.
Ang punto po sa electric jeepney ay less pollution po iyan. At saka ang buong daigdig po talaga going electric na. So nahuhuli na nga po tayo sa prosesong ito (The point is that electric jeepneys give off less pollution. And the entire world is going electric. We are lagging behind in this process), Roque said.
According to the DOTr, the modernization program will replace jeepney units that are 15 years old with Euro 4 engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs.
These will also be equipped with closed-circuit television cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System, speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi.
Last February, a memorandum of agreement was signed between various transport groups and vehicle manufacturing companies to deploy more than 3,000 modern jeepneys within the next three months in support of the modernization program.
Transport Undersecretary for Road Transport Thomas Orbos earlier vowed that assistance will be provided to transport groups through facilitating easier access to loans to replace their old and dilapidated jeepney units.
Source: Philippine News Agency