BDO Leasing and Finance Inc. (BDOLF), a subsidiary of the country’s biggest bank BDO Unibank Inc., became the first financial institution from the private sector authorized to finance modern jeepneys under the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program, a flagship initiative of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
BDOLF joins Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), currently the only two banks in the country that have allocated funding for the modernization program. Landbank and DBP are both government-owned financial institutions.
Five units of modern jeepneys will be initially funded by BDOLF, which will each run with a Euro IV-compliant diesel engine. Each unit can accommodate 24 passengers and will be almost as big as mini buses, according to a statement issued by the bank.
In addition, each unit will be equipped with a speed limiter, closed-circuit television camera, Global Positioning System and dashboard camera as safety features. They will be outfitted with an automated fare collection system as well.
IKK Ichigan, Inc., a former BDOLF client and an existing BDO commercial banking client, will supply the modern jeepneys also called “BEEPs” or “Bagong Jeepneys.”
The modern jeepneys are almost as big as mini buses and can each accommodate 24 passengers. Each unit will be equipped with a speed limiter, closed-circuit television camera, Global Positioning System and dashboard camera
In rolling out the program, BDOLF is partnering with the Transport Equipment Aggregator and Management, Inc. (1-TEAM), a fleet management company in the country. It consolidates public utility vehicles (PUVs) through a unified management system and provides logistical support, manpower training, equipment maintenance and operation of PUVs, including jeepneys.
The government’s modernization program aims to replace old jeepneys, which are 15 years or older, with modern and environment-friendly vehicles. The program aims to provide the public more roadworthy vehicles for safety and convenience. Under the program, around 180,000 jeepneys will be replaced according to an initial study of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg