PUJ modernization

Gwen asks banks to extend loan terms for jeepney operators, drivers

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - CDN Digital | July 20,2020 - 12:40 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has appealed to government banks anew to extend the payment term of the loans of public utility jeepney (PUJ) operators for the modernization of their fleet amid the economic crisis brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a meeting with the jeepney drivers, jeepney operators and bank representatives last Friday, July 17, 2020, Garcia asked the banks to extend for two years the payment period of the loans and allow the PUJ operators and drivers to pay the interest of their loans first so they may recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

The public transport sector is among the industries severely affected by the pandemic since public transport operations were suspended at the end of March due to the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine.

When parts of the province were placed under general community quarantine, the modern jeeps come only at second priority to the buses in the issuance of special permits to operate.

Read: Garcia to appeal PUV hierarchy in areas under GCQ, MGCQ

In a news release of the Provincial Information Office, Garcia’s appeal last Friday was already the second time the government appealed to banks this month.

“The renewed appeal came after Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) officials failed to provide an update on her earlier request during their first meeting on July 9 at the Capitol,” the news release reads.

During the follow-up meeting with the PUJ operators and drivers on July 17, the PIO said a new set of bank representatives attended the meeting but the message from the earlier meeting “was not properly relayed.”

“Ato nalang hatagan og dunay 2-year grace period ang principal. Interest sa ang bayran aron ma-boost ang capacity nila nga maka derive sila og revenue,” Garcia said.

(Let’s  just give the principal a two-year grace period. Let them just pay the interest to boost their capacity to be able to derive revenue.)

The PIO said the bank representatives promised to give a response to Garcia’s requests by Wednesday, July 22.

If granted, the supposed 7-year term in paying for their loans under the PUV Modernization Program  would extended to nine years.

Garcia also asked the banks to reduce the interest rates for the loans from currently at six to seven percent.

Among the transport cooperatives that attended the meeting were the Cebu Mepza Liloan Drivers and Operators Transport Cooperative, Pit-os Talamban Mandaue Transport Cooperative, Mandaue-Sabang Danao Multicab Drivers Operators-Multipurpose Cooperative, the Cebu People’s Coop, and Cebu CFI Community Cooperative. /bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, DBP, jeepney modernization, Land Bank of the Philippines, PUJ modernization program

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