Iloilo, Baguio bolster sustainable transport through electric PUVs and transport-related equipment

November 14, 2023


In support of their sustainable transport systems initiatives, electric vehicles (EVs) and transport-related equipment were handed over to Iloilo City and Baguio City by the Promotion of Low Carbon Urban Transport Systems in the Philippines (LCT) Project, co-implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Part of the LCT Project’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Programme (EVIP), Iloilo City and Baguio City, two of the pilot areas, welcomed the support to their respective sustainable transport agenda. The incentive programme intends to provide a model for EV transition and aims to address major bottlenecks in shifting to EVs in public transport, including the cost of shifting and policy and regulatory reforms.

In a ceremony in Iloilo City, Mayor Jerry Treñas spearheaded the handover of two electric public utility vehicles (PUVs)s to Aerostar 1 Multi-Purpose Cooperative. In his message, the local chief executive mentioned their commitment to lower GHG emissions, “We are looking forward to more electric vehicles for Iloilo City so that we reduce the carbon footprint here in Iloilo City.”

Aerostar is the first transport group in Iloilo City to shift to EVs in 2022 and remains committed to fully adopting electric PUVs in the future. LCT also handed over two bike counters that will enable efficient and accurate data gathering towards improving and scaling up active transport efforts in Iloilo City.

Meanwhile, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong expressed his excitement regarding the future developments in sustainable transport in the city and sees the LCT Project as a significant push towards Baguio’s sustainability agenda. 

Under the EVIP, one electric PUV was awarded to Irisan Jeepney Operators and Drivers’ Association (IJODA) Transport Cooperative, becoming the first EV to be deployed for public transport and navigate the unique terrains of the country’s summer capital. The city government also received ICT equipment and traffic counters to strengthen its capacity to plan and manage sustainable transportation and traffic management. Further, the Dalan ni Taltallak Consortium of Universities for Low Carbon Transportation Research and Innovation established under the LCT Project and consisting of St. Louis University, University of Baguio, and University of the Cordilleras also received software and equipment that will boost their research and innovation along low carbon transport.

A lot of things are really happening because we can no longer afford to go back to a situation wherein Baguio was classified as having the 3rd worst air quality in the Philippines. These are all very strategic and catalytic so that it will have a huge impact on our environment,” Mayor Magalong added.

In his message, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Non-Infrastructure and Special Action and Intelligence Committee for Transportation (SAICT) Jose F. Lim IV underscored DOTr’s aim to replicate the initiative. “As we turn over the equipment to Baguio LGU and the e-PUV to IJODA, we also aim for this project to be replicated and shared across all other cities in our country, with this initiative serving as an example,” Asec. Lim shared.

For his part, UNDP Philippines Resident Representative Selva Ramachandran called for the continuation of the gains of the LCT Project in advancing sustainable transport. “Our work towards sustainable transportation is an ongoing journey. As the LCT Project concludes, our hope is that our partners and stakeholders sustain and build upon the achievements we have collectively reached,” he said.

The LCT Project endeavored to create an enabling environment for the adoption of low carbon urban transport systems in the Philippines through, policy support, institutional capacity development and awareness, and investment in LCT. Its four pilot areas include the cities of Baguio, Iloilo, Pasig, and Sta. Rosa.