Isuzu Philippines Corp, led by its President Hajime Koso, turned over the initial 15 modernized jeepneys to be used for the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
In formal turnover ceremonies held in front of the Senate building in Pasay City, in the presence of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, DOTr Usec. Thomas Orbos, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III, Senate Secretariat officials, SETSCO officials, key government officials and executives from the private sector, Mr. Hajime Koso, President, Isuzu Philippines Corporation; Mr. Edgard Cabangon, Chairman & CEO Isuzu Gencars, Inc. and Mr. Conrad Almazora, Executive Vice Pesident, Almazora Motors Corporation presented the preliminary 15 units.
The occasion also signified the beginning of the PUVMP, with the Senate Employees Transport Service Cooperative (SETSCO) as the pilot operator.
The modernized PUVs, assembled using the Isuzu QKR77 platform and the rear body designed and manufactured by Almazora Motors Corp, are air-conditioned Class 2 PUVs with a side-facing seat configuration. The Isuzu QKR platform is assembled in the Philippines and is equipped with Euro IV-compliant 4JH1-TC Diesel Engine that delivers excellent fuel economy.
The new PUV body is compliant with Philippine National Standards (PNS 2126:2017). The passenger cabin floor-to-ceiling height and gangway width are 1,780 mm and 830 mm, respectively, providing more space for passengers to move easily inside. The passenger door is safely situated on the right-hand side, facing the sidewalk. Other design features of the body include panoramic windows and windshields, full-body insulation with GeneQ shield, automatic door closer, and provisions for persons with disabilities.
Completing the modernized look and features of the new PUVs are the LED TV monitors for real-time information including station details, route, date, time, weather, news, and advertisement, LED electronic signages for vehicle route information, fire extinguishers, CCTV, dashcam and back-up cameras, and the automatic fare collection — all geared for passengers’ safety, entertainment, and added convenience in fare collection.
The new PUVs warranty coverages for cab and chassis is 3 years or 150,000 km, whichever comes first and separate warranty for body, aircon and accessories, options not available for old jeepneys.
“This is truly a landmark event for the PUV modernization program of the Philippine government and Isuzu Philippines Corporation’s active participation in this timely project. The fruitful collaboration between IPC and the wholly Filipino-owned Almazora Motors Corp ensures that our commuters ride only in world-class public utility vehicles that also take into careful consideration passenger safety, comfort, and the particular locality’s needs,” IPC President Hajime Koso explained.
“The formal turnover today at the honorable institution of the Senate of the Philippines, only means that we are starting the PUVMP program not just in the right foot, but in the best way possible, as our modernized jeepneys will provide safe, convenient, reliable and comfortable transport services to the people who render public service on their part,” he added.
Isuzu Philippines Corp, which has been operating since 1995, has been known to produce durable and reliable trucks, light commercial and commercial vehicles that are perfectly suited for local driving conditions. In a span of over two decades, the company has established a strong network of dealers that have provided excellent after sales service and parts.
It is this unmatched brand reputation that has led SETSCO to choose Isuzu as the vehicle brand for the pilot program of the PUVMP. According to SETSCO’s franchise holders, a program of this magnitude would require that all aspects of the program “must go right from the start”, as a pilot project ultimately determines the future course of the program as it is applied in other locations in the Philippines. “SETSCO exhausted all options available, most especially the vehicle brand for our transport services, and we came to the conclusion that Isuzu would be the best choice because of the vehicles’ durability, parts availability, and fuel efficiency. Many of our members have experienced for themselves these qualities of Isuzu vehicles in their daily commutes.”
SETSCO, which has shown to comply with the requirements prescribed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), has been run by Senate employees since 2004 and now has joint ownership of 35 franchises granted by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
The PUV Modernization Program is envisioned to replace some 250,000 jeepneys nationwide with new, safe and environment-friendly, secured, convenient and comfortable public utility vehicles.