LTO issues new orange plates to E-Jeepneys

GRIPP, Greenpeace welcome landmark in greener Philippine transport

Feature story - July 30, 2008
Electric Jeepneys, the cleaner, safer, alternative to fossil fuel-based transport, today become the first vehicles in the country to be issued orange license plates for electric vehicles by the Land Transportation Office.

Electric Jeepneys, the cleaner, safer, alternative to fossil fuel-based transport, today are issued orange license plates, for electric vehicles, by the Land Transportation Office. From left to right: MVPMAP Vice President Ferdie Racquelsantos, LTO North Motor Vehicle Inspection Center head Engr. Joel Donato, Green Renewable Independent Power Producer Board Chair Athena Ballesteros, and LTO chief Undersecretary Alberto Suansing. E-Jeepney project proponent GRIPP, and Greenpeace, welcomed the move as a landmark in greener Philippine transport. The orange plates are issued specifically for electric vehicles, and its issuance by the LTO was largely spurred by the E-Jeepney and the Climate Friendly Cities Project--meant to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by cities--of which it is part.

E-Jeepney project proponent GRIPP (Green Renewable Independent Power Producer), and Greenpeace welcomed the move as a landmark in greener Philippine transport. The orange plates are issued specifically for electric vehicles, and its issuance by the LTO was largely spurred by the E-Jeepney and the Climate Friendly Cities Project--meant to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by cities--of which it is part.

"The registration of the E-Jeepneys is much-awaited and smooths the way for the full implementation of the Climate Friendly Cities Project, particularly when we start scaling up E-Jeepney fleets around the country.  The full-implementation of the project will hopefully steer the Philippines--starting with pioneering cities--away from harmful fossil fuels, and toward climate-friendly, sustainable, renewable energy-based transport," said GRIPP Chair Athena Ballesteros.

The E-Jeepneys were launched last July 4, 2007 in Makati City as part of a larger initiative that demonstrates how cities can help mitigate the problem of climate change through implementing measures that would avoid the use of climate change-inducing fossil fuels.  Through the project, a fleet of electric-powered jeepneys will derive energy from biodegradable wastes from the city's wet markets, food establishments and households, thereby helping mitigate climate change even as it addresses urban problems such as air pollution and solid waste.

The E-Jeepneys will now be registered under the new classification 'low speed vehicles' (LSV) as set forth in the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) of AO AHS-2008-14 'Guidelines in the registration of LSVs.' The orange plates are issued to private LSVs.  Yellow plates and orange stickers will then be issued to for-hire E-Jeepneys when the LTFRB (Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board) issues the permits which GRIPP hopes to be processed soonest.

Four E-Jeepneys will be among the first to be issued the plates: three units plying Makati, and one currently in UP Diliman.  They will also be inspected by LTO's Motor Vehicle Inspection Station team.  These jeepeneys, however, are exempted from the agency's standard smoke emission testing procedures.

GRIPP believes the launch of the registration classification will enable better access to E-Jeepneys, promoting its acceptability to transport groups.  With current spiraling fossil fuel prices, the E-Jeepneys stand to increase income levels of jeepney drivers by at least PHP400 a day, without the respiratory health hazards associated with conventional, frequently smoke belching jeepeneys.  That's aside from anticipated environmental benefits, such as less air pollution and climate change mitigation.

"The problem of global climate change and worsening air pollution are a result of really bad environmental decisions made in the past.  The E-Jeepneys represent the range of technologies now made available for us to choose a cleaner, low carbon development path.  Spiraling diesel and gasoline prices prove that fossil fuels are not the energy choices for the future.  The E-Jeepneys represent the revolution toward clean, renewable energy alternatives that must be implemented now, and in a much larger scale, by the national government," said Greenpeace Executive Director Von Hernandez.

The Climate Friendly Cities Project is sponsored in part by the Dutch Doen Foundation and is currently supported by Makati, Bacolod, Baguio, and Puerto Princesa Cities.

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