1. JEEPNEY DRIVERS ARE BEING PUNISHED BY THE FAKE MODERNIZATION PROGRAM.
From their historical characteristic as refurbished vehicles leftover from World War II, jeepneys have de facto served as one of the main modes of transportation in the country when the government failed to provide a safe, reliable, affordable, and accessible transport system for its citizens. Instead of supporting them, the government is now punishing jeepney drivers by forcing them to replace their current vehicles with costly units that cost as much as Php2.5 million, when jeepney drivers make a mere few hundred to few thousand pesos in a day.
2. COMPLYING TO ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE STANDARDS SHOULD NOT CLASH WITH ENSURING THE ECONOMIC SECURITY OF DRIVERS.
While it is important to comply with the Euro-4 requirement for an environmentally sustainable transport system, it need not lead to a jeepney phaseout. Instead of a rushed modernization, the government can provide support for the rehabilitation of old jeepney units to make them compliant to emission standards. A program like this can also take advantage of small “backyard” manufacturers instead of favoring foreign-owned corporations for the production of jeepneys.
3. A RUSHED AND ILLUSORY MODERNIZATION WILL LEAD TO HIGHER FARES.
The high upfront cost of the vehicles, the inability of drivers to acquire new jeepney units, the corporate consolidation of jeepneys into fleets, and the reduced number of units plying the different routes will all lead to an increase of fares, ultimately burdening consumers as well as drivers and operators alike. Hailed as one of the cheapest modes of transport, jeepneys have serviced the poorest sectors of society and is vital to the current economic activity of the country. Pushing a program that will increase fares especially at a time of ever rising inflation is a huge disservice to the Filipino people.
4. THE PUV MODERNIZATION PROGRAM WILL ONLY INCREASE OUR DEPENDENCE ON IMPORTS.
Without an automotive industry that can sustain the creation of engines and other quality parts, the PUV modernization program will only further our dependence on foreign technologies and machineries. If we instead focused on developing our own transport industry, we would be able to develop strong linkages between industries. Supporting the localization of jeepney manufacturing is a concrete step towards developing the presently non-existent automotive industry, boosting employment as well as providing an effective and strategic mass transport system.