Government to give incentives to local PUV makers

Local public utility vehicle (PUV) manufacturers will be provided incentives to increase their competitiveness in keeping with government plans to modernize the transportation sector, a Cabinet official said.

“We are promoting the local manufacture of PUVs. They (PUV operators) should buy the locally manufactured vehicles to support the local industry and the jobs that will be created,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said at the sidelines of the European Union-Philippines Business Summit Oct. 17.

“There are reports that some may rely on imported vehicles. We will not allow that to happen,” he added.

Lopez said the support for local builders and manufacturers might be better than those given under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program aimed at making the country a regional vehicle manufacturing hub.

“We are talking to different groups, local body assemblers, anyone who can competitively provide the platform, chassis and the engine. We are still finalizing it (the incentives). It could be like the CARS program, which is performance-based or per unit,” Lopez said.

“Peso-wise it may be better than the CARS,” he added.

The government’s PUV modernization program aims to make vehicles more environment-friendly. It also seeks to provide drivers with monthly fixed salaries and do away with the “boundary” system.

Jeepney operators and drivers have criticized the scheme as anti-poor, noting that new units were too expensive.

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