The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has inked six (6) partnership programs today, 12 October 2020, with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for the delivery of technical assistance, financing, and support for the modernization of the country’s public transportation system.
Covered by the DOTr-LBP partnership are the North-South Commuter Railway Extension (NSCR-Ex) Appraisal Project, Resettlement Action Plan Entitlements Distribution Mechanism, Distribution of Cash Subsidy to operators of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), the Automatic Fare Collection System–Pilot Production Testing, Support Package for Environment-friendly and Efficiently-Driven PUV (SPEED PUV) Program, and the Interim Rehabilitation Support to Cushion Unfavorably-affected Enterprises by COVID-19 for Better Urban Services (I-RESCUE BUS) Transport Lending Program.
The collaboration was formalized through a virtual Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing ceremony led by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, and LBP president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo.
Transport Secretary Tugade welcomed the DOTr’s partnership with Land Bank saying it will boost the country’s drive towards a modern and efficient public transport system.
“These six (6) programs represent the numerous efforts we have been pushing to improve and enhance the whole public transport system in the country. These six (6) programs also show the multiple ways we innovate things for the comfort and convenience of the riding of the public. And these six (6) programs we signed today prove the tremendous support coming from our partner stakeholders, as we carry out various transport initiatives for the Filipino people,” Secretary Tugade said.
“Itong pagsasama na ito between Land Bank of the Philippines at DOTr ay magandang pamaraan upang sa gayun ay masilbihan at matugunan natin ang tawag ng ating Pangulo na bigyan ang Filipino people ng comfortable life. Kaya nga ba’t taos puso ang aming pasasalamat sa Land Bank of the Philippines sa inyong patuloy na pakikipagtulungan para maisakatuparan ang iba’t ibang programang makatutulong sa ating mga kababayan,” he added.
For her part, Land Bank President Cecilia Borromeo welcomed the opportunity to assist the DOTr and become a partner in the country’s push towards a safe and modern public transport system.
“We welcome this collaboration where we each bring our areas of expertise to successfully carry out meaningful programs to provide convenient, efficient, and safe mobility to our commuters. Our partnership is also in stride with the national government’s effort to address the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and revitalize the local economy, centered on sustaining the momentum of the “Build Build Build” Program. Prioritizing infrastructure projects during this time will help create much needed jobs, attract investments and increase economic activities,” LBP President and CEO Borromeo said.
One of the agreements involves tapping the technical expertise of the LBP to appraise properties affected by DOTr Projects.
Through the signing of this MOA, LBP agreed to extend the necessary technical assistance to DOTr in the conduct of inspection and appraisal of the said Affected Properties The DOTr, PNR, and LBP also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a Resettlement Action Plan (“RAP”) Entitlements Distribution Mechanism to facilitate the timely, orderly, and transparent distribution of non-housing cash entitlements to Project-Affected Persons of the North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project.
To cushion the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on PUV stakeholders, RA 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, directs the DOTr, through the LTRFB, to provide direct cash subsidies through a one-time cash grant amounting to PhP 6,500.
At least 178,244 qualified PUV units nationwide are expected to benefit from the cash subsidies, with modes including Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ), UV Express, Filcab, Bus, Premium Point-to-Point (P2P) Bus, and Minibus.
Land Bank will facilitate the cash release through the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) fuel cash cards, existing Land Bank accounts, other bank accounts via InstaPay or PESONet, and over-the-counter payouts.
Further, the DOTr and Land Bank will jointly conduct the Pilot Production Testing of the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), which will use Mastercard EMVCo-compliant contactless cards as payment instruments in public transport modes.
The testing will evaluate the AFCS under a real-time operating condition in preparation for its full and commercial implementation and will provide DOTr with a model in writing the National Standard for a transit payment facility.
For this purpose, at least 130 PUVs will be selected to participate in the pilot implementation which will commence in the first quarter of 2021.
Finally, a MOA was also signed to ensure that the plans, procedures, and rules of Land Bank’s transport lending programs—the SPEED PUV Lending Program and IRESCUE BUS Transport Lending Program—are aligned with the DOTr’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
The SPEED PUV Program offers financing to public transport cooperatives or corporations to help them make the shift to better and safer vehicles.
As of September 30, 2020, Land Bank has approved a total of P737.21 million in loans to 16 borrowers nationwide for the purchase of 407 modern jeepneys.
LANDBANK has allotted an initial P3 billion for the recently launched IRESCUE BUS Transport Lending Program to support the members of the consortium selected for the Metro Manila Bus Modernization Program in the purchase of modern public utility buses.
Qualified enterprises may borrow up to eighty percent (80%) of the acquisition cost of the vehicle, at an affordable fixed interest rate of 5% per annum for the first three (3) years—payable up to a maximum of seven (7) years, inclusive of the two-year grace period on principal.