State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has granted a P367.72-million credit assistance to an Iloilo-based transport cooperative for the acquisition of 148 brand new modern Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) as part of efforts to promote efficient, safer, and greener public transportation system in the province, a top official said.
DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Michael O. de Jesus said the credit support to Metro Iloilo Transport Service Cooperative (MITS Coop) under the Bank’s Program Assistance to Support Alternative Driving Approaches (PASADA) would finance the acquisition of EURO-compliant PUJs to be deployed to seven routes in Iloilo City.
“DBP’s credit assistance to MITS Coop reflects our firm resolve to support the implementation of the National Government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUMVP),” de Jesus said. “This undertaking further fortifies DBP’s commitment to stimulate local businesses in the automobile industry and to contribute to the overall development of the transportation sector in the country.”
DBP is the eighth largest bank in the country in terms of assets and provides credit support to four strategic sectors of the economy – infrastructure and logistics; micro, small and medium enterprises; environment; social services and community development.
MITS Coop is registered with the Cooperative Development Authority and was organized in line with the National Government’s jeepney modernization program. It has 627 members comprised mainly of drivers, jeepney operators, and allied workers from various municipalities in Iloilo.
De Jesus said the PASADA Program is DBP’s flagship program for the modernization of the country’s transportation system and offers flexible and competitive financing options tailored to the unique needs of transport corporations and cooperatives accredited by the Office of the Transport Cooperatives.
He said the modern PUJs financed by DBP will serve the transportation needs of an estimated 33,000 commuters following the issuance of a transport route plan that includes seven routes situated mostly in highly populated areas of Iloilo City.
“As a development financing institution, DBP will continue to pursue partnerships that would bring far-reaching benefits to the lives of commuters, local businesses, and the environment at-large,” de Jesus said.
DBP Senior Vice President and Head of Development and Resiliency Sector Carolyn I. Olfindo said MITS Coop initially partnered with DBP in 2020 for the acquisition of 27 modernized jeepney units adding that “… its acquisition of 148 additional modern PUJs will provide employment opportunities to over 500 individuals in the province.”
She said as of end June 2023, DBP has approved 104 accounts under the PASADA program with a total loan amount of P8.57-billion, which serves as Bank’s tangible contribution to ongoing efforts to hasten the modernization of the country’s transport sector.
“The joint undertaking with MITS Coop is a strong and decisive step for DBP in terms of assisting transportation cooperatives to take the big leap in public sector transport modernization, which would be a boon for a bustling and progressive city such as Iloilo,” Olfindo said.