by LADOTRANSCO | June 25, 2024| Published by ABS-CBN News | READ THE STORY HERE

In recent years, the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) has gained momentum worldwide with its substantial benefits for both the environment and the economy.

In the Philippines, General Santos City has embraced sustainable transportation with the introduction of electric jeepneys or e-jeepneys.

Led by the efforts of Lagao Drivers Operators Transport Cooperative (LADOTRANSCO), the transition to e-jeepneys has been both a step towards modernization and an effort towards environmental stewardship. This shift has not only enhanced the sustainability of its operations, but also improved the welfare of its jeepney drivers and passengers.

The beginning of an electric revolution

LADOTRANSCO started as a tricycle association in 1994 and eventually shifted to multicab units. Following the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), which aims to replace old public utility vehicles with modern, low-emission, or no-emission vehicles like e-jeepneys, the cooperative ventured into e-jeepney operations.1. LADOTRANSCO now has 44 electric jeepneys, two of which were provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Photo Source: My Puhunan

Since integrating electric jeepneys, LADOTRANSCO has seen significant operational improvements. One major advantage has been the reduction in fuel costs.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Cang explained, “Malaking bagay yung naitutulong ng e-jeeps kasi it can save from 60% to 70% of our fuel savings. Although non-aircon siya, ‘yung electricity cost niya per day, nasa P300 lang. Samantalang ‘yung diesel powered vehicle namin, almost P2,000 na po per day for the same number of trips. That is 10 trips a day. So, malaki talaga ang disparity doon sa fuel savings.” (The contribution of e-jeeps is significant because it can save us from 60% to 70% in fuel expenses. Although it is non-air conditioned, its daily electricity cost is only around P300. Meanwhile, our diesel-powered vehicle costs almost P2,000 per day for the same number of trips. That is 10 trips a day. So, there is really a big difference in fuel savings.)

Income and benefits for jeepney drivers

The switch to electric jeepneys has also improved the welfare of drivers and their families. Roger Agcaoili, an e-jeepney driver, shared how the increased income from driving e-jeepneys has allowed him to provide a better life for his family.“Dati meron akong jeep na traditional na minamaneho. Sariling kita, sarili mo ring maintenance. Dito sa coop, fixed po ang kita namin. Hindi na po problema ‘yung about sa passengers kasi hindi ka na naghahabol ng boundary, kumikita ka pa ng arawan. Medyo mas malaki kaysa noon. Ang minimum po namin na sahod is P403 maliban sa overtime at tsaka meron pang allowances na binibigay ng coop.” (Before, I had a traditional jeep that I drove. Your own earnings, your own maintenance. Here in the cooperative, our earnings are fixed. It is no longer a problem with passengers because you are no longer chasing boundaries; you earn daily. It is slightly higher than before. Our minimum wage is P403, excluding overtime and allowances provided by the coop.)

The cooperative model ensures that drivers receive a steady income and benefits such as being registered members of Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, and SSS.

Photo Source: My Puhunan

This stability has allowed drivers like Agcaoili to improve their living conditions. “Nakakatulong na po. Dati po kasi ang bahay namin maliit lang, ‘yung barong-barong lang. Ngayon, nakaipon na kami at nakapundar na kami ng bahay na komportable sa aking mga anak. Malaki na rin po ang oportunidad na maka-loan po ako sa mga like Pag-IBIG or SSS,” Agcaoili noted.

(It is really helpful. Before, our house was small. It was just a makeshift shack. Now, we have saved up and built a comfortable home for my children. There is also an opportunity for me to apply for loans from institutions like Pag-IBIG or SSS.)

Another e-jeepney driver, Rodrigo Reyes Jr., vouched for the positive impacts of PUVMP. In an interview with the Philippine Information Agency, Reyes shared, “Our future is more secure. Of course, we now have benefits, since honestly, what’s deducted from us for our contribution to SSS, the return is much bigger when you are in a company,” Reyes pointed out.2

Photo Source: My Puhunan

LADOTRANSCO also ensures that jeepney drivers no longer have to worry about vehicle maintenance and repair expenses.“Since fleet operation po tayo, ‘yung sira, hindi na sila (jeepney drivers) ‘yung gagawa. ‘Yung piyesa na bibilhin, hindi na po sila ang gumagastos, it is the cooperative. So, magaan na lang po sa kanila. ‘Pag pinaayos dun sa motorpool, hindi na po sila ‘yung gumagawa. So that is the best thing that they have experienced, and since nakasahod sila sa cooperative, hindi na po kagaya dati na naghahabulan sila sa kalsada, and ‘yung longer time operation or longer hour operation dahil kailangan nilang kumota o habulin ‘yung boundary, hindi na po nangyayari ‘yun. It is because naka-fleet manage tayo, and ‘yung dispatching natin sa ating mga sasakyan ay na-ma-manage naman,” Cang explained.

(Since we operate as a fleet, the drivers no longer handle repairs. They do not spend on buying parts; it is the cooperative. So, it is easier for them. When repairs are needed at the motorpool, they do not do it themselves. That is the best thing they have experienced. And since they have a fixed income from the cooperative, they no longer have to chase after passengers on the road like they used to, and the longer hours of operation, or extending beyond the usual time to meet the boundary, does not happen anymore. It is because we manage as a fleet, and our vehicle dispatching is well-managed.)

Passenger experience with e-jeepneys

Photo Source: My Puhunan

Passengers have also benefited from the new electric jeepneys. “Tuwang tuwa sila dahil maluwag at komportable. And dahil naka-time dispatch ‘yung mga electric jeep natin, ‘yung time reliability ng ating mga sasakyan, ‘yun ‘yung na-enjoy nila. So, with the program, although hindi naman siya perpekto, but more or less na nag-shift talaga ng dimension ‘yung public service natin sa ating mga mananakay,” said Cang.

(They are delighted because it is spacious and comfortable. And because our electric jeeps are on a timed dispatch, they enjoy the reliability of our vehicles. So, with the program, although it is not perfect, more or less, it has truly shifted the dimension of our public service for our passengers.)

Photo Source: My Puhunan

With features such as CCTV cameras, GPS tracking, and automated fare collection systems, the e-jeepneys offer a modern and secure commuting experience.

Addressing hesitations and encouraging adoption

In addressing the concerns of those hesitant about utilizing e-jeepneys, Cang encouraged taking risks and emphasized the evolving landscape of electric vehicle technology in the country.

“Naintindihan natin. Pero kailangan risk taker ka rin eh. Kasi hindi mo rin malalaman ‘pag hindi mo ginamit. So, now that there are a lot of technology and there are a lot of improvements on the electric vehicles in the country, I can say na ‘yan na po ang direksyon natin. Nakakatulong ito unang-una sa ating environment. And nakakatulong sa dagdag kita ng ating operation. And tayo ay nagpapasalamat na dumarami ‘yung gumagawa and nagsu-supply ng electric jeeps that would make the competition fair. And para sa amin bilang operator, that is a very big help.”

(We understand. But you also need to be a risk-taker. Because you will not know unless you try. So now that there is a lot of technology and improvements in electric vehicles in the country, I can say that it is the direction we are heading. It helps primarily with our environment. And it helps increase our operational income. We are grateful that more people are manufacturing and supplying electric jeeps, making the competition fair. And for us as operators, that is a very big help.)


The future of sustainable and environment-friendly transportation

Photo Source: My Puhunan

One significant advantage of electric jeepneys is their environmental impact. Unlike traditional diesel or gasoline-powered vehicles, e-jeepneys produce zero emissions, contributing to cleaner air and a reduced carbon footprint.

LADOTRANSCO’s experience shows how businesses may thrive by adopting sustainable and environment-friendly practices. The cooperative’s transition to electric jeepneys has not only resulted in substantial cost savings and operational efficiencies, but also helped improve the quality of life for its drivers and passengers. By embracing innovation and sustainability, the cooperative has set a benchmark for others to follow.


1. Gaspay, S. M., & Salison, A. J. (2024, March 14). The Economics of E-Jeepney Transport Operations: A Comprehensive Analysis [Research Report]. Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).

2. Ferolino, H. J., & Apelacio, C. (2024, January 11). PUV Modernization Spells Massive Success for Transport Sector in General Santos City [News Article]. Philippine Information Agency (PIA).