Tugade vague on jeepney modernization plan parameters
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade flip-flopped on Monday on the issue of whether or not old public utility vehicles (PUVs) should be allowed on the road even after they pass safety inspections.
Under the modernization program, Tugade explained that all PUVs that are 15 years old and above would be phased out under the modernization scheme.
“Ang MVIS (Motor Vehicle Inspection System), sinasabi natin basta 15 years and above, out. ‘Yung MVIS ay isang solution dyan na kung saan na kapag idinaan mo yung sasakyan sa MVIS at nagsasabi na ikaw ay road worthy, itutuloy-tuloy ho yan. Pero yung inspection, may schedule yan. Kung kelangan ng break fluid, ng emission testing lahat ho,” he said during the hearing of the Senate committee on public services.
When Senator Grace Poe, chair of the committee, clarified if that would mean the PUVs that would pass the MVIS would no longer be replaced, Tugade said: “Yes ma’am, basta road worthy.”
Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III then wondered why there was still a problem when it was very clear from Tugade that PUVs would not be phased out as long as they pass the road worthiness inspections.
“Nakikinig ako, naririnig ko na pag ikaw kahit na surplus yung sasakyan mo… kung papasa kayo sa MVIS e walang problema, di ba? Ganun ka simple ang labanan… Anong mahirap dun?” Sotto asked .
“Ganun ba Secretary Tugade?” Poe also asked Tugade to which the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary answered in the affirmative.
Tugade repeated his answer when the lady senator asked again if the PUVs, even after they pass the safety tests, should still be replaced after the three-year roll out of the modernization program.
“Theoretically, yes Ma’am….Kapareho ho yan sa mga may ari ng sports car. Yung sinasabi nila yung sports car ko 20 years vintage. Bakit ayaw mong ipagamit sa akin? E dumaan kasi sa MVIS, kung road worthy ka dyan e di mag ply ka,” he said.
“Sinabi nyo yan ha. Pagka ang isang jeep dumaan ng MVIS, kahit na ang hitsura nya iba pa, pero pumasa sya, tuloy pa rin ang pasada after 3 years? ”Poe said.
“Ma’am, meron hong standards ha,” Tugade said, which drew reactions from the hearing room.
“Yung pintuan ho hindi sa likod ,nasa tagiliran. Yung capacity po, seated saka standing. Meron ho Euro 4, Euro 5,” the Secretary went on, referring to the required specifications of jeepneys under the modernization scheme.
At that point, Sotto urged the official to just find a “middle ground” to once and for all resolve the conflict.
“You can find a middle ground na kapag pumasa MVIS, let them retain it. Bakit nyo kelangang alisin e pasado sa MVIS?” the senator said. /kga –Maila Ager