The Department of Transportation (DOTr), alongside its attached agencies, the Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR), will roll out with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) six (6) programs designed to modernize the country’s transportation systems and services.
The programs are the North-South Commuter Railway Extension (NSCR-Ex) Appraisal Project, Resettlement Action Plan Entitlements Distribution Mechanism, Distribution of Cash Subsidy for Operators, Automatic Fare Collection System–Pilot Production Testing, Support Package for Environment-friendly and Efficiently-Driven PUV (SPEED PUV) Program, and the Interim Rehabilitation Support to Cushion Unfavorably-affected Enterprises by COVID-19 for Better Urban Services (I-RESCUE BUS) Transport Lending Program.
The collaboration was formalized through a virtual Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing ceremony led by DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III, PNR General Manager Junn Magno, and LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo held on October 12, 2020.
“LANDBANK welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the continuous development of our transportation systems, in line with providing commuters with more efficient, safe, and comfortable modes of transport. Our combined efforts will fast-track the delivery of much-needed programs and services for the sector amid the ongoing pandemic,” LANDBANK President Borromeo said.
As part of the partnership, LANDBANK will appraise properties that will be affected by the construction of the NSCR-Ex Project, which aims to expand the existing mass transportation in Metropolitan Manila and adjacent areas, and alleviate serious traffic congestions in and around the capital city. The appraisal will cover 15 clustered sites, composed of five (5) sites in Bulacan and Pampanga, and 10 sites in Manila, Makati and Laguna.
Under the NSCR-Ex Project, LANDBANK will also serve as the distribution agent of the Resettlement Action Plan Entitlements Distribution Mechanism. The Bank will deliver cash entitlements to eligible residents and other Project-Affected Persons (PAPs) living along the railway right-of-way from Malolos in Bulacan to Clark in Pampanga, as well as from Tutuban in Manila to Calamba in Laguna.
In coordination with the LTFRB, LANDBANK will distribute cash subsidy to PUV operators who have been adversely affected by the suspension in public transportation operations and reduced ridership due to COVID-19 safety protocols. The Bank will facilitate the cash release through the Pantawid Pasada Program (PPP) fuel cash cards, existing LANDBANK accounts, other bank accounts via InstaPay or PESONet, and over-the-counter payouts.
The DOTr and LANDBANK will also jointly conduct the Pilot Production Testing of the Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), which will utilize convenient Mastercard EMVCo-compliant contactless cards as payment instruments in public transport modes. The testing will verify the entire AFCS under a real-time operating condition in preparation for its full and commercial implementation.
Finally, a MOA was formalized to ensure that the plans, procedures, and rules of LANDBANK’s transport lending programs—the SPEED PUV Lending Program and IRESCUE BUS Transport Lending Program—are aligned with the DOTr’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
The SPEED PUV Program offers financing to public transport cooperatives or corporations to help them make the shift to more efficient and safer vehicles. As of August 31, 2020, LANDBANK has approved a total of P737.21 million in loans to 16 borrowers nationwide for the purchase of 407 modern jeepneys.
Meanwhile, LANDBANK has allotted an initial P3 billion for the recently launched IRESCUE BUS Transport Lending Program to support public transport cooperatives and corporations, who are members of the consortium selected for the Metro Manila Bus Modernization Program, for the purchase of modern public utility buses. Qualified enterprises may borrow up to eighty percent (80%) of the acquisition cost of the vehicle, at an affordable fixed interest rate of 5% per annum for the first three (3) years—payable up to a maximum of seven (7) years, inclusive of the two-year grace period on principal.
Interested borrowers may contact the nearest open LANDBANK Lending Center or Branch nationwide, or call LANDBANK’s customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000.