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DOTr working on guidelines for PUV shift to electric, says Bautista

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is working on guidelines that will indicate the government’s targets on public transportation regarding the shift to electric vehicles, both in terms of timeframe and percentage of the total units in the sector.

According to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, the DOTr is now crafting guidelines, with public utility vehicles (PUVs) still allowed to have non-electric motors, but are being pushed to have Euro 5 or Euro 6-compliant units in the meantime.

“We will be issuing maybe a guideline. We don’t have it yet, but we’re working on it, how much or when we will require a certain percentage of PUVs to be operated by electric. But as of now, we don’t have that yet,” he said during the Makati Business Club’s F2F with Cab Secs.

The DOTr is also pushing for the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP), which aims to replace traditional jeepneys with vehicles that have at least a Euro 4-compliant engine to lessen pollution.

The agency has since extended the deadline to December 31, 2023, in deference to a Senate resolution and the request of Bautista, as drivers and operators have complained about the costs which can hit over P2 million.

Under the PUVMP, jeepneys are required to join transport cooperatives by the deadline, in a bid to prevent “on-street competition” among drivers and operators.

Bautista on Wednesday estimated some 80% to 90% consolidation by the deadline, from the current 60%.

“Those who consolidated, they were able to experience the benefit of consolidation — you don’t compete with other members of the cooperate and then there’s right dispatching, there’s right maintenance of the vehicles, there is right operations,” he said.

“The drivers are trained well, paid at least minimum wage, they are getting the benefits of SSS (Social Security System), Medicare, and that’s one of the reasons why the government is pushing for this consolidation,” Bautista added.

For its part, the government aims to have 50% of its fleet to be electric vehicles by 2040 as indicated by the Comprehensive Roadmap for the Electric Vehicle Industry (CREVI) released by the Department of Energy (DOE). —KBK, GMA Integrated News