City officials recently requested the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to incentivize transportation cooperatives and corporations abiding by the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) such as, but not limited to tax holidays, waiver of fees, registration fees, tax waiver on importation of euro 4 engines and parts used for PUV assembly, fuel subsidy, continuing financial management, and fleet management seminars, among others.
In a resolution authored by Councilors Benny Bomogao, Maria Mylen Victoria G. Yaranon and Jose Molintas, local legislators stated that in order to encourage operators to actively participate with the aforesaid program, the government should also provide incentives to them for the realization of the goal to have PUVs embrace the ongoing modernization initiative.
The PUVMP is the government’s response to the worsening transport problems around the country, thus, on July 19, 2017, the DOTr issued Department Order No. 2017-011 that prescribed the omnibus guidelines on the planning and identification of public road transportation services and franchise issuance that launched the PUVMP.
The program aims to fundamentally transform the public transport system making both commuting and public transportation operations more dignified, humane, and at par with global standards. It further aims to provide a safer, more efficient, reliable, convenient, affordable, climate change-friendly, and environmentally sustainable transportation.
However, the program met various oppositions from the transport sector for different reasons such as being anti-poor, no available units, no spare parts, very costly, very low valuation for existing traditional units, among others.
The body stipulated that there is no denying that the program aims to upgrade the current transportation system to provide safer and convenient means of transportation for commuters but there is also no denying that the program is very costly and is ultimately the burden of the operators.
Further, the council added that the government has also to relax taxes on the importation of euro 4 compliant engines and other vehicle parts to support local assemblers and bring down the cost of modern PUVs that will soon ply the various roads around the country. By Dexter A. See