Daily commuters plying the Laoag-Batac-Paoay route may now feel safer and comfortable when riding public transportation as the Ilocos Norte Transport Cooperative (INTC) expressed readiness to jump on the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) modernization program bandwagon.
The PUV Modernization Program is a flagship, non-infrastructure program of the Duterte administration which aims to provide a comfortable life for all Filipinos through a safe, reliable, convenient, affordable, and environmentally-sustainable public transportation system in the country.
In Ilocos Norte, at least 23 modernized jeepneys are now ready to ply the streets out of the 29 units that the cooperative has applied. Each unit costs PHP2.392 million.
Following the launch of the first set of modernized jeepneys last Friday (Nov. 13) in front of the Ilocos Norte capitol building, Redentor Vicente, chairperson of the INTC, said Tuesday the first five units will be initially introduced to commuters via the Laoag-Batac-Paoay route.
The INTC is composed of drivers and operators who will play a big role in the PUV modernization scheme as they will, later on, handle the PUV operations, including the management of operators and drivers.
As of the moment, Vicente said, “the INTC is open to accept more drivers and operators to join the cooperative”, wherein they will have a standard salary and other benefits. Among the pioneering members of the INTC are the drivers and operators of the Laoag-Batac-Paoay route.
In support of the PUV modernization program in the province, the Metro Ilocos Norte Council under the provincial government of Ilocos Norte is planning to assist interested cooperatives to apply for a loan with the Development Bank of the Philippines and other banks offering a financing program.
The program mechanics are now being finalized for the benefit of drivers and operators in the province who are also currently affected by the ongoing national health crisis. (PNA)