PUV modernization: simplistic, anti-poor
Two of the primary reasons why the government wants to phase out the jeepney — pollution and congestion — can also be blamed on other forms of transportation, especially private vehicles.
We want to minimize if not eradicate pollution. But the old cars of those who never get hungry, not just old jeepneys, also emit pollutants. Even the brand new SUVs of those who never have to ply the roads for a living also congest highways. Why pass this responsibility only to class CDE?
A middle-earner cannot buy a million-peso new vehicle in three years, even through a loan. For those who get by through minimum wage, this is almost impossible. This three-year modernization policy, ergo, is simplistic, and antipoor at least.
Let us not extend the franchise of jeepneys that are smoke belchers. Let us not renew the registrations of those that are not roadworthy and are not environment-friendly anymore.
But let us not enforce a sweeping but discriminatory phase-out policy that pushes the man on the street, so to speak, against the wall.
JONAS CABILES SOLTES
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