Press Releases

Salceda on PUV modernization: “Extension is a band-aid, greater support is the answer;” House tax chair proposes ‘trade-in’ scheme for those who want to shift to different jobs.

March 4th, 2023

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district), in response to comments from Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista that the department is “open to extending” the deadline for the PUV phaseout, says that “while an extension is welcome news, it will not solve the underlying problem: the subsidy is not enough.”

“At the end of the extension, transport groups will try to ask for another one. And they won’t be necessarily unjustified,” Salceda said.

Salceda said that the government instead should be more aggressive in capitalizing potential cooperatives and LGUs who wish to consolidate and modernize PUVs in their routes.

“We should instead be more creative about getting PUVs to actually modernize. Not on their own, but through very generous loans and subsidies to LGUs and cooperatives. And the debt should be on the cooperative’s or LGU’s part, not an individual obligation of the jeepney driver.”

“What you don’t want to do is tie people up to a certain means of living because they owe money for it,” Salceda said.

“I’ve pointed it out repeatedly, ever since TRAIN Law discussions, that the PUV modernization subsidy just doesn’t cut it. We need a better framework – one where the PUJ driver is ultimately an employee of a well-planned public transport system, not their own businessman.”

“Otherwise, tuloy ang agawan ng pasahero sa kalsada. Tuloy ang unahan.”

Consider trade-in scheme

Salceda also proposes that the government consider a “trade-in” scheme, where the government simply buys out old jeepneys for P100,000 to 150,000 per unit, with no other condition.

“You don’t have to modernize. You don’t have to join a cooperative. You can just shift out of the jeepney sector altogether if you want to. You get an outright P150,000 for trading your jeepney in.”

Salceda referred to the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), colloquially known as “cash for clunkers,” part of the US’s global financial crisis recovery program, “as a model that we can modify.”

“Only that, instead of actually having to buy a new car or jeep, you are paid to retire your old jeep,” Salceda said.

“There are some jeepney operators who see buying the new jeeps on loan as too expensive. This helps them get out of the old system without the burden of new loans,” Salceda added.

Salceda says he will manifest the proposal once the House Committee on Transportation conducts hearings based on his earlier resolution to evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of the PUV modernization program.

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