By Kap Maceda Aguila
BY VIRTUE of Department Order No. 2017-11, the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) was construed in June 2017 by the Department of Transportation (DoTr) as it envisioned a “restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector where drivers and operators have stable, sufficient and dignified livelihoods while commuters get to their destinations quickly, safely, and comfortably.”
Beyond being a modernization program, the PUVMP is fancied as a “comprehensive system reform to entirely change the public land transportation industry.” A major component of the program is, of course, a re-fleeting of the old clunkers and smoke-belchers (including some 250,000 jeepneys) on the road with safer, more comfortable, and environment-friendly vehicles.
Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) recently turned over 20 Philippine National Standards (PNS 2126:2017)-compliant jeepneys geared for “passenger safety and added convenience in fare collection” to one of Pasang Masda’s umbrella organization, the Paniqui Gerona Tarlac Transport Services Cooperative (PGT Transeco). This was done in cooperation with the DoTr, Land Transportation Office (LTO), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Present during the formal presentation were LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III, Almazora President Conrad Almazora, INTECO CEO and President Raymond Jarina, and IPC Sales Division Head Joseph Bautista. The purchase partnership between IPC and PGT Transeco was facilitated by the Isuzu Quezon Avenue dealership. Atty. Delgra declared, “Automakers like Isuzu Philippines Corporation play a key role in the modernization program since they provide the units that we need to make this program move forward.”
IPC reported that the modernized PUVs “have been assembled using the Isuzu QKR77 platform, and the rear body (was) designed and manufactured by Almazora Motors Corp. These are air-conditioned Class 2 vehicles with a side-facing seat configuration.” The platform is assembled in the Philippines and carries a Euro 4-compliant 4JH1-TC diesel power plant promising enhanced fuel economy and cleaner emissions. The automaker also extends a three-year/150,000-km warranty for the cab and chassis, and a separate warranty for the body, air-conditioning, and accessories.
“The turnover is seen as IPC’s headway into the largely untapped modernized PUV market in the province, and the leading Japanese truck manufacturer’s clear show of support for the government’s ongoing PUVMP,” said Mr. Bautista.