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MANILA, Philippines -  The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) has lauded government’s move to implement a PUV modernization program, including public utility jeepneys across the country.

“The Department of Transportation is finally on the verge of implementing this historic modernization program for public utility vehicles which aims to drastically improve the mass transport landscape and help reduce or eventually eliminate toxic air pollution on Philippine roads,” EVAP president Rommel Juan said.

“This is because not only will the 15-year-old jeepneys be upgraded to new ones but the power train will either have to be the environment-friendly Euro 4 engines or alternative-fuel type like electric and hybrid, LPG, LNG and CNG. With the political will of the Duterte administration, we think this will finally happen,” Juan added.

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The Duterte administration will initially seek to modernize 220,000 public utility jeepneys across the country as part of government efforts to provide a safer transport system for commuters while mitigating the effects of climate change.

State-run Land Bank of the Philippines has established a P1-billion credit facility to bankroll the pilot project for the jeepneys.

Juan said the biggest stumbling block for the modernization program has always been retail or consumer financing.

“Now, they have come up with a financing program that will finance even new airconditioned jeepneys to the tune of P1.4 million to P1.6 million each through Landbank. Non-airconditioned jeepneys could be from P1.1 million to P1.4 million each. This financing scheme will entail a very low down payment and will be a boundary scheme of P800 per day for seven years at six percent interest,” he said.

The EVAP official said the best part of the program is that the driver will end up owning the new jeepney after the seven-year loan period.

“This would never have happened under the old boundary system with an operator,” he said.

According to the electric vehicle group, Landbank estimates indicated the initial P1 billion loan portfolio for this year can finance an estimated 650 to 700 units of new jeepneys.

“We are sure that there will finally be an opportunity for electric jeepneys to come in to serve the inner city with short distance routes, and we already have EVAP members who have the products that suit this need,” Juan said.

 For the Euro 4 jeepneys, EVAP said it is currently working with the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc., the Truck Manufacturers Association, and the Automotive Body Manufacturers Association of the Philippines to formulate the standards for the new modern jeepney in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry.

Reference:

Mercurio, R. (May 18, 2017). E-vehicle makers laud PUV modernization plan. The Philippine Star. Retrieved from http://www.philstar.com:8080/business/2017/05/18/1701146/e-vehicle-makers-laud-puv-modernization-plan

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