DOTr drops 2020 deadline for phase-out of old PUVs

Aileen Cerrudo
A ‘jeepney’, or local minibus, goes through a main thoroughfare in Caloocan City, north of Manila, Philippines 19 March 2018. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has dropped the 2020 deadline for the phase-out of all old public utility vehicles (PUV).

The DOTr said they will not implement a total phase out on old jeepneys but they still have to undergo road worthiness test to be allowed to operate.

According to transport group Pasang Masda, they don’t see any problems if the June 2020 deadline for the PUV modernization will be moved.

Pasang Masda President Obet Martin also vowed to continue buying modern jeepneys to replace their old ones. The transport group currently has 60 operating modern jeepneys.

Martin is also optimistic that the rest of the transport group will still strive to follow the government’s PUV modernization program.

“Alam ko na they will follow at kailangan ang ating mga operator na affected, maging seryoso po tayo, (I know they will follow. For the operators that will be affected, we should also be serious)” he said.

However, Stop and Go transport group has questioned DOTr’s decision to not push through with the June 2020 deadline.

Stop and Go Transport President Jun Magno also expressed disappointment over the government’s ‘defective’ motor vehicle inspection system. He said it will be difficult for old PUVs to operate beyond June 2020.

“Nasaan na ang MVIS natin, sasabihin niyo road worthy kahit dito sa central office, obsolete na ang kanilang machine [MVIS], (Where are our MVIS? You will speak of road [worthiness] but the machines in the central office are obsolete)” he said.

The transportation department has launched the PUV modernization program in 2017 but after three years only 2,595 units (1.5%) are operating in various areas in the country.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

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