As the government pushes for its phase out, the critics argued that this program will only be beneficial to big corporations that will earn for the sale of electric jeepneys. This program is a part of transportation modernization program for 2018.
Image source: wikimedia commons
Last year, President Duterte warned that all jeepney vehicles (with internal combustion engines) will be towed if they still operate in January, 2018. All drivers will also be arrested if they resist. But the Transportation Department said that the statement of the President was merely an expression of urgency.
Those operators and drivers who are affected can still avail of financing schemes for the new approved electric units. Transport groups are denouncing the plan because they can not afford the modernization program.
Transport Undersecretary Tim Orbos said that jeepney phase out is only a part of the modernization program. Most important of all is the road worthiness of all the vehicles particularly public transportation. Motor Vehicle Inspection System will be strict with the addition of automated version of MVIS. This is a machine that can check around 60 points of a vehicle. For sure it will include not only smoke emission testing but also the electrical system, hydraulic system, brake system etc.
There are two automated machines right now and 26 machines will arrive for the first quarter of this year. Temporarily, these two machines can check around 800 vehicles a day. These machines will check vehicles during their registration renewal as usual, but authorities will apprehend drivers with suspicious unworthy vehicles and these will go straight to the testing center even registrations are not due.
During the three-year modernization period, all vehicles including 15-year old jeepneys can operate as long as these PUVs can pass the modern MVIS. But after this period, all PUJ will be replaced by the new E-Jeepney vehicles. This model runs on pure electricity supplied by rechargeable automotive batteries thus it does not consume either gasoline or diesel to operate. It is eco-friendly because it has no noise, no fumes, no harmful emissions.
Acoording to Orbos’ assumptions, PUJ drivers only earn an average of 500 pesos a day whereas e-jeepney drivers will earn around 700 a day with additional incentives and benefits. Drivers will also have an easy time because they will not be allowed to on the road for more than 10 hours.
The new e-jeepney has four classes:
Class 1 – 9-22 passengers; all seated
Class 2 – more than 22 passengers; with standing
Class 3 – more than 22 passengers; all seated
Class 4 – more than 22 passengers; all seated; with cargo
Price of Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 is around 700k-800k Philippines Pesos
Price of Class 4 is around 1 million to 1.6 million Philippine Pesos.
This relatively high cost of electric vehicle is the primary reason why the jeepney drivers and operators oppose the idea of modernization.
Meanwhile, George San Mateo, president of PISTON (association of drivers and operators) warns of another strike over jeepney phaseout.
Bayan Muna (leftist political party) calls for a house probe on modernization program. But Malacanang insisted that the modernization program is the same program of past administrations but failed to push through because of transport strikes.
The Government is open to dialogue with transport groups. Despite the protests of various groups, most transport groups support modernization program.
featured image source: Wikimedia Commons
news source: YouTube