The Lapu-Lapu Mandaue Drivers and Operators Transportation Cooperative (LAMADOTRASCO) based in Cebu has acquired a total of 135 modernized public utility vehicles (PUVs) using their record Php 285-million loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) as it pushes for the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Said Php 285 million is the highest loan availed by a lone transport cooperative, according to the DBP.
“Sobrang malaking tulong ang nagawa ni Presidente at ni Secretary Tugade sa programang ito,” said Chairperson Novy Medallo. “Hindi ko nga maatim or even in my dreams [have I thought that] makapag-negosyo ako ng ganoong kalaki, na puwede kaming maka-loan ng Php 285 million or Php 300 million from the bank, kasi mga simpleng operators lang kami. At dahil sa programang ito, lumaki ‘yung puhunan namin.”
Registered with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) in April 2019, LAMADOTRASCO transitioned to “one fleet” using traditional modes of transportation in January 2020. The cooperative began using modern units 10 months after the transition in September 2020. “And then hanggang napalitan lahat yung mga consolidated units namin na 135,” Medallo explained.
All 135 units were bought directly from their chosen manufacturer, Hino, which offered the transport cooperative the cheapest cost for the brand new units.
DBP granted LAMADOTRASCO a total loan worth Php 285 million payable in seven years while the cooperative is currently waiting for another Php 92-million worth of loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to avail of additional 30-40 modern units.
The transport cooperative has seven board of directors, and functions as a regular cooperative set-up under the CDA. They have 180 drivers, 180 public assistant officers or conductors with a staff complement of 30 people.
When asked about how LAMADOTRASCO is operating amid the pandemic, Medallo stated that not that much has changed during the pandemic. “Medyo gumaganda naman yung kita namin at ‘yung maganda din yung programa ng DBP na six months grace period.”
Medallo expressed his gratitude to the government, saying that the program not only continues to help in the development of the country’s public transportation, but also helps transportation cooperatives to prosper despite the pandemic.
“Actually ngayon kung titingnan mo, wala talagang nagamit sa pera namin kasi nabalik na, so walang puhunan and this — we have this business, and we learned kung ano talaga ang naibibigay na tulong, kapag sama-sama tulad ng isang kooperatiba. Patuloy matutupad ang pangarap ng programa,” he added.