Some 95 additional new modern jeepneys will start plying the city’s streets in February 2023 after the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and Western Visayas Transport Cooperative (WVTC) signed a loan contract for the acquisition of brand new and environment-friendly public utility jeepneys (PUJs).
LANDBANK Visayas Lending Group Head, Senior Vice President Elsie Fe NB. Tagupa and WVTC Chairman Raymundo G. Parcon led the loan signing on 19 January 2023 at the Richmonde Hotel in Iloilo City. They were joined by WVTC General Manager Halley T. Alcarde and other co-op members, alongside LANDBANK Iloilo Lending Center Head, Assistant Vice President Giovani T. Baoy and other Bank officers.
The WVTC’s modern jeepneys will provide a convenient, safe, and comfortable commuting experience for Ilonggos in 13 routes in Iloilo City. The units will be equipped with air-conditioning, closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, Wi-Fi connectivity, Global Positioning System (GPS), and a cashless payment system, among others.
More than the safety and convenient features, modern jeepneys have minimal impact on the environment as these will be compliant with the European emission standards for globally-accepted vehicle exhaust emission limits.
“LANDBANK remains committed to supporting the National Government’s agenda towards building a modernized transport system. We stand ready to assist more transport cooperatives and corporations nationwide to make the shift to safer and more efficient vehicles,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia Cayosa Borromeo.
LANDBANK’s financing for the purchase of modern jeepneys will also provide a sustainable source of income to over 700 operator and driver-members of WVTC, who were previously at risk of losing employment with the planned phaseout of old jeepneys.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa LANDBANK sa tiwala at tulong nito sa aming kooperatiba. Pumupunta sila sa aming opisina at talagang ginagabayan kami para matapos ang mga loan requirements. Sana magpatuloy pa ang tulong sa amin ng LANDBANK upang patuloy naming maserbisyuhan ang mga commuters sa Iloilo City,” said WVTC Chairman Parcon.
The WVTC was formed in 2017 to comply with the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) order to convert various associations of operators and drivers into a cooperative to operate modern PUJs.
In April 2022, the cooperative was granted a franchise by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to operate more than 550 units plying 13 routes in Iloilo City. The co-op plans to seek LANDBANK’s assistance again to fund its remaining approved units.
The modern jeepneys of WVTC are financed under the LANDBANK SPEED PUV (Special Package for Environment-Friendly and Efficiently-Driven Public Utility Vehicles) Program, which directly supports the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) spearheaded by the DOTr and LTFRB.
As of 31 December 2022, LANDBANK has approved P6.3 billion in loans to 138 transport cooperatives and corporations nationwide under the Program for the acquisition of over 2,860 modern jeepneys. Of this number, the Bank has extended P751.2 million to 10 borrowers from Iloilo to finance a total of 334 units.