GenSan hits 100% in jeepney consolidation rush

OLD AND NEW. A traditional jeepney and its modern, airconditioned counterpart await passengers at a transport terminal in Novaliches in Quezon City on Jan. 23, 2024. Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista on Monday (Feb. 5, 2024) lauded the 100 percent consolidation rate in General Santos City, the first to do so in the country. (PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista on Monday lauded the 100 percent jeepney consolidation in General Santos City, the first to do so in the country.

To date, Bautista said a significant portion of public utility vehicles in the city has been modernized, inviting local business leaders to invest more in the country’s public transportation.

“Napag-alaman ko na simula nung inilunsad ang public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program (PUVMP) noong 2017, sumunod na ang General Santos sa pagtalima at pag-modernize ng inyong pampublikong sasakyan

“I found out that when the  PUV modernization Program (PUVMP) was launched in 2017, General Santos immediately complied and adopted modern PUVs),” he said in a town hall meeting in General Santos City.

During a lunch with the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bautista called on the private sector to invest in the government’s transport projects that aim to promote efficient mobility and connectivity, especially in the provinces.

“We invite business leaders inside this room to join us in this transformation of the country’s transport system,” he told his audience.

Some of these transport projects include the possible expansion of the General Santos Airport to accommodate international flights and further boost the city’s local tourism.

“While land acquisition for its expansion is ongoing, we need your support to build new hotels, resorts, restaurants, and more,” he added.

Moreover, Bautista said the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) looks forward to upgrade Makar Port to further improve passenger and trade movement at the port. “I encourage you to discuss any proposals with our maritime sector officials,” he added.

Bautista’s visit to General Santos City coincided with the second day of a town hall caravan that celebrates the DOTr’s 125th anniversary and seeks to initiate and promote discussions on the PUVMP and the country’s public transportation sector.

He first visited Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental on Sunday and his visit to General Santos City will be followed by a two-day trip to Davao on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a culminating activity in Manila on February 12. (With PNA)