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15 Parañaque drivers switch to euro 4 PUVs

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Fifteen jeepney drivers in Parañaque City have switched to Euro 4, industry-standard models in compliance with the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).

The new units will be plying the Nichols-SM Mall of Asia-Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange route under the Villamor Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association.

The 15 modern jeepneys are among the over 1,500 units that are already being used nationwide, said Joel Bolano, technical division chief of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

They are also the second batch of Euro 4 models that Pasang Masda had acquired through loans from the Land Bank of the Philippines, said Obet Martin, president of the jeepney transport group.

The 23-seater units cost between P1.8 to P2.4 million and are part of the 260 units Pasang Masda ordered from manufacturer Isuzu.

Apart from phasing out dilapidated jeepneys, the PUVMP aims to overhaul the public transport system by consolidating franchises, rationalizing routes and transitioning to a salary-based scheme for drivers instead of the old boundary system.


Doable through coops

Critics, however, have assailed the program for being too costly for the average jeepney driver. But Martin said the risks could be spread out through the formation of cooperatives.

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, who was in Parañaque City to witness the launching of the modern jeepneys, said the government would not waver from its self-imposed 2020 deadline for full compliance with the PUVMP.

He added that he was in talks with Japan-based manufacturer Toyota to develop a class 1 prototype that would cost only P1 million per unit.

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