DOTr Officially Launches Pilot PUV Modernization Program with Senate Transport Cooperative

Patrick Everett Tadeo

The Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is now a reality as the agency, with the assistance of Isuzu Philippines Corp., formally turned over yesterday, June 18, 15 units of the Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer’s take on the modern jeepneys for the Senate Employees Transport Service Cooperative (SETSCO).

SETSCO serves as the pilot operator of the PUVMP because its fleet is the first to fully comply with the standards set by the DOTr. That means not only does it have a more environment-friendly Euro 4 engine, it also has an entry/exit doorway on the right side that opens to the sidewalk, has provisional seats for persons with disabilities, and makes use of a tap card system of payment so the driver won’t be bothered with collecting fares and handing over change.

According to the DOTr, a total of 35 units will be turned over to the SETSCO to serve the Star City-Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) to Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) route with stops at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)-Senate and SM Mall of Asia (MOA) complex.

As for the units that were turned over, these are based on Isuzu’s QKR77 platform with the body being designed and manufactured by Almazora Motors Corp. Following the Class 2 PUV standards set by the DOTr, the SETSCO modern jeepneys are equipped with air-conditioning and have a side-facing seat configuration like the traditional jeepney. Unlike the said traditional jeepney though, the modern jeepney is capable of accommodating passengers who would rather stand inside the vehicle than sit on the side-facing, bench-type seat.

Other features of the SETSCO modern jeepney are the LED TV monitors for real-time information and updates–and which can also serve as digital advertisement posters to supplement the driver and operator’s income, LED electronic signs for vehicle route information, fire extinguishers, CCTV, dashcam and back-up cameras.

The modern jeepneys also have a warranty for the cab and chassis for three years or 150,000 km, whichever comes first, and a separate warranty for body, aircon and accessories–options that were not available for old jeepneys.

According to IPC, the price of the Class 2 configuration of Isuzu and Almazora’s take on the modern jeepney is close to the PHP2 million mark.

As for the fare, though both the DOTr and SETSCO failed to mention it, a source from within the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) shared with select members of the media, including CARMUDI PHILIPPINES, that the minimum fare for the first four kilometers is PHP10 with an additional PHP2 charged per succeeding kilometer, with a 20-percent discount given to students. the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

“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,” said IPC President Hajime Koso.

“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.

SETSCO PUV Modernization Program
SETSCO PUV Modernization Program