MANILA, Philippines — Fifteen modern jeepney units have begun plying the roads Pasay City.
Unlike the old iconic models, the new ones are similar to passenger buses. The door is in front and is fully air-conditioned. It has front-facing seats that can accommodate up to 30 passengers. It has CCTV, GPS, and uses a euro-four engine.
In modern jeepneys, passengers use automated mode of payment or beep cards.
Minimum fare for modern jeepneys is P10 and an additional of P2 for every succeeding kilometer.
The jeepneys will ply Star City and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex going to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
It will also traverse the area of GSIS building and Senate going to SM Mall of Asia and the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
The Senate Employees Transport Cooperative will manage the operation of the new jeepney units as well as the salary of the drivers.
“Its drivers will no longer have to vie for passengers. For the first eight hours, they have a fixed income. They will have benefits like SSS, PhilHealth, and Pagibig as mandated by law,” said SETSCO Chair Venturina Remedios.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) targets to launch up to 500 units of modern jeepneys before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte in July.
Meanwhile, the DOTr will also begin distributing fuel vouchers to jeepney drivers next month.
Transportation Undersecretary for Road Transport Thomas Orbos said that the government will provide a P5,000 subsidy to each driver through a debit card.
“For the first year, the government will give close to a billion pesos. Drivers should have legitimate franchise per unit. But in the next two years, they should have modern vehicles,” said Orbos.
The Land Transportation and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) awaits the complete list of drivers who could receive a fuel voucher.
The move is in accordance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to aid Filipinos affected by the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue