Bill giving clear framework for PUV modernization filed

Published August 30, 2020, 8:53 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Manila Rep. Manuel Luis Lopez has filed a bill seeking to provide a clear framework and program for the modernization of the public utility vehicle (PUV) sector, which includes the creation of a phase-out plan with transitional support to affected transport workers.

Under House Bill No. 7428, the chairperson of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development cited the need to provide transitional support in the form of vehicle subsidy, fuel subsidy, concessional loan, and livelihood assistance to all affected transport workers to ensure just and equitable implementation of the PUV modernization program.

“The modernization of the PUV sector remains as an important mitigation response to the climate crisis because it will reduce the sector’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the use of modern, low-carbon technologies. However, in the midst of the pandemic, it is all the more important to ensure that the transition to a modernized PUV sector is in accordance with the principles of justice and equity,” he said in his bill’s explanatory note.

The House leader asked all concerned agencies and government instrumentalities, particularly the Department of Transportation (DOTr), to systematically integrate the concept of “just transition” in various phases of policy formulation, planning, and other tools and techniques in the modernization of the PUV sector.

“The State therefore ensures that the modernization of the PUV sector will include all affected transport workers in the low-carbon transition, in accordance with the principles of justice and equity, promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all,” he stressed.

He explained that his proposed “Just Transition to a Modernized PUV Sector Act” seeks to reduce the GHG emission of the PUV sector, improve safety and comfort of the riding public, and improve working conditions for transport workers through a people-centered and just modernization plan.

The measure seeks to phase-out existing high-carbon PUVs, while protecting the security of tenure of affected transport workers, and provide assistance to displaced transport workers, especially those who can no longer take part in the PUV sector due to various reasons.

HB 7428 mandates the DOTr, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), and Climate Change Commission (CCC), in consultation with other concerned agencies, panel of technical experts, and stakeholders to formulate a Framework Strategy on Just Transition to a Modernized PUV within three months from the effectivity of the proposed Act.

The proposed framework, which shall serve as at the basis for the Just Transition to a Modernized PUV, shall be reviewed every three years or as may be deemed necessary.