DAGUPAN CITY – This city is being considered by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) as pilot area in the implementation of the national government’s thrust of modernizing the public transport and it’s “Tanggal Bulok, tanggal usok” campaign.

This was bared by former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager now Undersecretary of DOTr Thomas “Tim” Orbos in his meeting with Mayor Belen T. Fernandez on February 22.

Orbos thanked the mayor for initiating the move to modernize the public transport in the city.

He disclosed that Fernandez is not just considering the road worthiness of the public transport vehicles but is also considering a plan on how to come out with a traffic management that is suitable to the landscape of the city.

Orbos said that the agency will have a lot of things to do in the city which will start with the removal of old and  worn out or unsafe vehicles along  the road and help the local transport groups here on how to secure the proper vehicles under the modernization program.

Under the initiative of the mayor,  the agency will also assist in the city’s route rationalization plan, which will define the proper number of public transports operating in the city based on passengers demand and road capacity.

“Kung dati it’s the national government which determines what the local government should do and implement in their locality, ang LGU na ngayon ang gumagawa nito,” said Orbos.

Part of the agreement between the city and the agency includes training the city’s traffic enforcers for a more enhance, more cohesive and more integrated traffic management plan and on how to secure funding from the national government to help the city finance the purchase of traffic equipment like CCTVs.

Orbos said that just like any other urban areas, Dagupan is affected by the traffic situations in its neighboring LGUs thus there is a need to enhance the city’s traffic plan.

“This goes to show that Dagupan is really a bustling metropolis and we have to address the traffic situation as such,” said Orbos.

By the first week of March DOTr will be in the city again to start in the implementations of the programs in partnership with the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board, Highway Patrol Group, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the local Department of Public Works and Highways and the city.

At the same time the agency will help local transport cooperatives in the city on how to consolidate and secure funding for the purchase of a new vehicle.

According to Orbos these transport groups will be the first ones to be integrated in the modernization program of the national government which will provide subsidy for them to be able to secure a new vehicle.

Orbos said the government will be giving P80,000 as  subsidy while the Development Bank of the Philippines and LandBank will provide a reasonable bank financial term of 5% downpayment, 6% interest rate with seven years to pay contract.

He debunked fears of the transport group on the high cost of the new vehicles by disclosing that the cost of the new vehicle is ranging from P700,000 to P1.5 million  as compared to the cost of the current jeepney models which cost P1.2 to P1.3 million.

“The decision on what kind of vehicle they will purchase under the modernization program is with the operator. And I would say the price is very reasonable,” said Orbos. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Feb. 23, 2018)