DoJ: Phaseout of old jeepneys will require approval of the President

Posted on March 28, 2016

THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation and Communications’ (DoTC) plan to phase out old public utility jeepneys still requires the President’s approval, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said.

A jeepney driver checks his engine at a jeepney terminal in Quezon City. -- BW File Photo
Responding to a request by DoTC Assistant Secretary Sherielysse R. Bonifacio, the DoJ issued a four-page legal opinion that said the PUJ Modernization Program falls under a type of credit program that requires the President’s specific approval.

The DoJ noted the DoTC’s phaseout program provides for the Development Bank of the Philippines to extend loans to drivers or operators who will be required to replace their vehicles upon reaching the 15-year age limit.

The said loans are secured by a guarantee fund sourced from the Special Vehicle Pollution Control Fund (SVPCF), which was set up by a 2000 law that charged all vehicle owners to help fund the upkeep of roads and combat pollution.

Under Executive Order No. 558-A, “all other credit programs” that do not concern poverty alleviation or focus on areas unserved by financial institutions require the President’s specific authorization.

“Inasmuch as the proposed PUJ Modernization Program would require utilization of the SVPCF, which is considered a ‘special fund’ under Section 8 of [Republic Act] No. 8794, prior Presidential approval must be secured,” read the opinion signed by Secretary Emmanuel L. Caparas.

The said program modernizes the existing jeepney fleet by requiring holders of Certificates of Public Convenience to purchase brand new PUJ units compliant with guidelines on low-carbon, low-emission technology.

Operators and drivers of the “No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition” are planning a protest action on April 4. -- Vince Alvic Alexis. F. Nonato