THE provincial government of Bataan conducted recently a consultation on the modernization of public utility vehicles (PUV) in the province.
The move seeks to lessen carbon emission of the province as well as help local drivers achieve a more livable income with the use of Electric Public Utility Vehicles (E-PUVs).
The consultation initiative was done in partnership with Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). GGGI Philippines Country Representative Juhern Kim conveyed the organization’s interest in supporting the modernization of the transport sector, starting with Bataan
“We see a lot of potential working with Bataan on the subject of transport, as 30 out of 32 transport associations were already consolidated as one transport cooperative, technically speaking, penetration of electric jeepneys in the province is viable,” Kim said.
To achieve this, Kim added that crafting the right set of policy incentives and inclusive consultations will help attract transport cooperatives to replace their fleets.
The feasibility study of GGGI showed great possibilities in optimizing the three identified routes for E-PUVs namely Balanga to Lamao and Balanga to Dinalupihan for e-jeepneys and Balanga to Mariveles for e-buses, to increase their income.
The province is also eyeing potential manufacturing opportunities in the province, especially in the Freeport for locally grown electric vehicle manufacturers.
Based on data shown by GGGI, carbon emissions from vehicles is the third largest source of greenhouse gases in the Philippines.
For his part, Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office Head Victor Ubaldo said this project will help the province achieve its vision to have the lowest poverty incidence resulting from quality growth, attaining top-level human development index in the country.
“The provincial government is focused on implementing programs and projects that would ensure a sustainable development in the province,” he emphasized.
Under the modernization program, E-PUV drivers will have a fixed monthly salary plus benefits including healthcare.