The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has clarified it can only determine the roadworthiness of electronic jeepneys which might be utilized as an environmentally sustainable mode of transportation to commuters.

The agency is responsible for the registration of e-vehicles in the country, according to LTO chief Edgar Galvante.

“The only function of the LTO for this particular case is the licensing and registration of the e-jeepneys. We don’t have the authority to rollout these vehicle units,” Galvante said in an interview.

He made this clarification as a transport group had their fleet of electronic solar jeepneys inspected by the LTO Motor Vehicle Inspection Service for their planned operation under the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

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According to an earlier radio report, Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP) President Orlando Marquez said the solar-powered jeepneys have passed the specifications and standards set by the Bureau of Product Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The report said the e-jeepneys intend to traverse the routes of Ayala-Buendia-SM Mall of Asia to the Southwestern Integrated Transport Terminal in Paranaque City once its operation starts. The units would also pass through the stations of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Philippine National Railways in the southern and western parts of Metro Manila.

Local manufacturers are currently building the prototype design of the new PUVs which are based on the Philippine National Standard which will be presented on October 12, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

The Philippine National Standards stipulates that PUVs should accommodate at least 22 passengers with some seated and others standing. Notable design changes include moving the entrance from the rear to the right side of the vehicle and replacing the side-facing seats with front-facing seats equipped with seat belts.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has recently signed an agreement with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) for a PHP1.5 billion financing program to assist transport corporations and cooperatives to allow smooth transition to modern public transport vehicles. (PNA)

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