P6B cash grants, loans for public transpo set

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    The Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday signed an agreement with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to help finance the rollout of six transport projects worth at least P6 billion that will improve public transport system amid the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

    These include cash grant to public utility vehicles (PUVs), bus lending program, contactless payment, loan for public utility vehicle modernization, Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) Entitlements Distribution Mechanism to affected individuals and families of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) extension project, and the LBP’s appraisal services for affected properties of the DOTr projects.

    DOTr through Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board will provide direct cash subsidies through a one-time cash grant amounting to P 6,500, to over 170,000 qualified PUV units nationwide with modes including public utility jeepney, UV Express, Filcab, Bus, Premium Point-to-Point (P2P) Bus, and minibus.

    As part of the MOA, LBP allocated P3 billion for the DOTr’s iRescue Bus Lending program to provide the interim rehabilitation support to help recover from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

    For environment-friendly and efficiently-driven PUVS, or the SPEED PUV program, Land Bank has increased the PUVMP financing P3 billion from P1.5 billion in early this year to fasttrack the shift to modernized public transport.

    The DOTr is firm on implementing the nationwide interoperable Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) on all public transport modes.

    As part of the ongoing refinement and finalization of this national standard, the DOTr, in partnership with the LBP, will lead the conduct of the AFCS- EMV Co-Compliant Contactless Pilot Production Testing which will set a standardized transit payment facility that will operate across all transport systems.

    The DOTr will implement this month a cashless payment option in the EDSA busway system that has no cost to the commuters through use of QR (quick response) ticketing system through QR on mobile phone and code printed on a paper. (M. Iglesias)