WATCH | Government rolls out investment support for modern jeepneys

July 4, 2017 - 2:04 AM
Model modern jeepney
Demo model of a proposed unit for the government's jeepney modernization program.

For at least 28,000 of the old retirable jeepneys – the smokey, rough-riding and fuel guzzling curmudgeons of the Philippine roads, the government has firmed up a modernization program aimed at bringing this ubiquitous brand of public transportation into a new era.

The jeepney modernization program is intended to support the investment by jeepney drivers and operators in a new fleet of modern, environmentally-friendly vehicles. For the acquisition of these vehicles, the government’s financial safety net will shoulder the down payment equity estimated at between PhP60,000 and P80,000 each.

This financial support – for some 28,000 vehicles – amounts to about P2.2 billion.

In effect, the jeepney driver or operator pays zero equity or down payment for this modern jeepney, and simply amortizes the balance through a loan channel to be prospectively provided by the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines.

The scheme doesn’t come across as completely persuasive, especially for drivers and operators who may need some convincing regarding the economics.

But the drivers point out that the corresponding daily amortization amount of P800 may not be uniformly agreeable for all, especially for those plying very short routes that may not quite generate the level of earnings required for return on investment.

Existing jeepney cooperatives are the prospective early adopters of the jeepney modernization program, in accordance with applicable provisions of the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines of the Department of Transportation.

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