Time is ripe for modern transport
READER'S VIEWS (The Freeman) - October 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Antonette Derecho 1st Year, Bachelor of Arts in International Studies University of San Jose – Recoletos

The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) is not just a vehicle modernization program but a universal system reformation that will thoroughly transform the public land transportation industry, and including the Philippine economy.

According to Inglehart, the central claim of modernization theory is that economic development, cultural change, and political change operate together coherently, and to some extent, predictable patterns. Once a society starts to industrialize, a variety of related changes become almost inevitable, such as urbanization.

In June 2017, the Department of Transportation declared Department Order No. 2017-011, known as the PUVMP, a core program of the Duterte administration which envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector; where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods, while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably.

Since then, transport strikers had stated that the PUVMP would only lead to displacement and deprivation of livelihood among drivers and operators, whereas only high-profiled companies would be able to sustain the required fleet management system of a minimum of 10 units per franchise. A modernized unit is worth approximately P1 million, which is exceeding the means of small-time drivers and operators.

Operators and drivers had requested for rehabilitation, not replacement of their PUVs. Nonetheless, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III affirmed that the program would push through. To uphold safety and comfort for the commuters, all vehicles and services will comply with the national standards and international vehicle safety conventions.

Whether commuters or public transport operators agree or disagree with this matter, transformation is upon the transportation scene in the Philippines. As a student, I consider today’s government projects may somehow lead to the ideas we envision for our country.

To the neighboring countries, public transport is operated by private yet government-linked companies, which makes it more manageable to upgrade and improve transportation. However, our land transport system is operated by private groups and even individuals most of whom owning old and poorly maintained jeepneys.

As of now, the Philippines is still working to modernize its mass transport, in contrast to its neighboring countries. It cannot be disputed that it is high time for us to do something regarding it, not only for the benefit of the commuters but also for the environment and the economy.

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