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Re-calibrating the Jeepney Modernization Program: Policy Issues and Recommendations

The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) aims to modernize the Philippine public transportation system by providing regulations and mechanisms to enhance operational efficiency and environmental sustainability in the transportation sector. The program involves replacing old vehicles with modern technologies, rationalizing routes, and consolidating franchises into cooperatives and corporations. The PUVMP was supposed to have been completed in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and protests staged by Philippine transport groups in March 2023 have forced the government to postpone the deadline for franchise consolidation to December 31, 2023. This policy brief addresses the PUVMP's design and implementation issues. While the modernization program is necessary, its implementation has experienced challenges such as insufficient program resources, coordination and communication mechanisms between the national government agencies, local governments, and transportation stakeholders, and the lack of inclusive multistakeholder participatory spaces for program planning and implementation. This brief suggests that the government review and recalibrate the program to prioritize easing out the transition; pilot-test the program in smaller areas before pushing for nationwide implementation; enable inclusive multi-stakeholder participation in the program; provide incentives and capacity development to support the transition; and provide the resources and capacity needed to develop for long-term, sustainable performance of the program, keeping in mind that modernization is a long, continuous, and ever-evolving process.


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