TRANSPORTATION regulators have reached consensus on the need to increase the equity subsidy for the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program, officials said on Tuesday.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board Chairman Teofilo E. Guadiz III said the proposed subsidy would more than double the current subsidy.

“We are planning to increase the subsidy from P160,000 to our proposal of roughly about P360,000,” he said.

Office of Transportation Cooperatives Chairman Jesus Ferdinand D. Ortega said that the specific terms of the planned subsidy increase cannot yet be discussed pending the issuance of a memorandum circular when it is approved.

“Part of the program is to provide subsidies. There is a certain amount that the government will give to each cooperative or corporation that will use to buy modernized jeepneys,” Mr. Ortega said. “I cannot talk about it in detail right now, as we need to wait for the formal announcements.”

He added however that “agencies under the Department of Transportation (DoTr) have already agreed to the increase.”

He gave no specific timeline for the increase other than to say that it could be implemented in a month’s time.

“In principle the DoTr has already agreed. So, it is just a matter of completing the paperwork. (The memorandum circular) could be released after a week or a month. What is important is that it will be retroactive, meaning we will be able to cover everyone who will apply for a loan,” Mr. Ortega said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile