DTI wants to speed up EO on PUV modernization

MANILA -- The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants to fast-track the creation of an executive order (EO) to support the supply side of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said a new EO is needed to fund the agency’s support program for local body makers of modern PUVs.

This is aside from the DTI’s plan to reallocate some PHP9 billion for the third player under the PHP27-billion Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.

“We need a new EO on that (PUV modernization program) so that we can get the budget as a support for the local manufacturing; for the local assemblers, body makers to supply modern PUVs,” Lopez told reporters.

The DTI chief said the support program for local assemblers may come later in the PUV modernization program while the replacement of old PUVs may already start as President Rodrigo Duterte targets to kick-off the program in January 2018.

He added that jeepney operators can get orders from local manufacturers or opt to buy completely build up (CBU) modern PUVs while waiting for DTI’s support program for local assemblers to supply modern vehicles.

Lopez noted the need to hasten the creation of an EO to support the supply side of the PUV modernization in order for the locally manufactured vehicles to compete with the price of imported vehicles.

For DTI Assistant Secretary Rafaelita Aldaba, she said it is best to source modern PUVs locally as service centers are already present compared to imported vehicles, which parts and services are not yet available here.

“It’s not our policy to restrict entry of imported vehicles. But for imported vehicles, there is also a need to invest in terms of services facilities, and parts should be ready and available locally,” Aldaba said in Filipino. (PNA)