Landbank vows full support for public transport programs

THE Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) renewed its commitment to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to fully support programs that provide more efficient, convenient and modern public transportation to Filipino commuters.

During a courtesy visit on Sept. 2, 2022, Landbank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo met with DOTr Secretary Jaime J. Bautista to discuss ongoing and potential collaboration programs and initiatives to advance the country’s transport sector.

The Landbank and DOTr are partners for the Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) Pilot Production Testing (PPT), which allows the convenient use of EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) contactless credit, debit and prepaid bank cards as cashless payment instruments in public transport modes.

For the interim implementation, only the Landbank contactless card will be accepted for paying the fare. Once the necessary regulations or policies have been issued, the Landbank AFCS solution can also accept and process the EMV contactless cards issued by other local and foreign banks.

In preparation for its full and commercial implementation, Landbank and the DOTr launched the AFCS in September, covering six modern public utility vehicles (MPUVs) of PM Jeepney Drivers Operators and Services Inc.

The remaining 144 MPUV units out of the total 150 PUV units shall soon be deployed in selected pilot sites in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Metro Cebu.

The state-run bank likewise offers a support package for the environment-friendly and efficiently driven (Speed) PUV program to help finance the shift of public transport operators to modern, safer and eco-friendlier vehicles.

Under the Speed PUV program, public transport cooperatives and corporations may avail themselves of loans for the purchase of modern public utility jeepneys (PUJs). Landbank can finance up to 95 percent of the PUJ’s total cost at an affordable interest rate of six percent per year, payable based on cash flow but not to exceed a maximum of seven years.

The national government, through the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, also offers a P160,000 subsidy to borrowers for each PUJ financed under the program.

As of end-August 2022, Landbank had approved P5.3 billion in loans to 116 borrowers under the Speed PUV program.