In a press conference last June 27, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced their plans to draft possible designs of the modern Jeepney. Dubbed the 'Philippine Utility Vehicle', this new vehicle will be part of the Jeepney Modernization Program and will eventually act as complete replacements to the jurassic jeepney we’ve come to know.

Based on their initial sketches, the DTI is looking for specific characteristics in this vehicle that will allow for better safety and ergonomics for its driver and occupants. The sketches appear to yield the image of a small bus – or a coaster – of sorts, with the doors opening to the side instead of the rear like in the old jeepneys. Aside from that, DTI claims that the vehicle should be able to seat 22 individuals facing forward instead of to the side. Aside from space, these seats will benefit its occupants greatly in terms of safety. Seat belts will be provided for each seat as well. Vehicle capacity will not be limited to 22 pax however, as the new jeepney should also be capable of carrying standing individuals thanks to its taller head room.

The basic structure, measurements, and specifications for the jeepney were drafted by the DTI after being tasked by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Now however the DTI stresses that these sketches are just initial bases which will be open to public comment until August 2017, after which it will be passed onto DOTr.

The draft standard specifies dimensional limits for Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) under the Class I and III of 'M2' UNECE category – vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight (8) seats in addition to the driver’s seat, and having a maximum mass not exceeding five (5) tons. Also, included in the dimensional limits are the overall height, width and length, wheelbase and front and rear overhang, cabin, seat and seat lay out, step board, service door and emergency exit.

The TWG recommended the DPNS 2126:2017 for approval to the BPS Technical Committee 44 – Road Vehicles. The BPS TC 44 on Road Vehicles – Working Group 2 on PUV Modernization composed of various representatives from the academe, trade/industry, consumers’ organization, professional association, research institution, government agencies, and, testing institutions, received the DPNS for review
and for dissemination to gather comments.

The BPS/TC 44 is responsible in the development of the standards concerning compatibility, interchangeability and safety, with particular reference to terminology and test procedures for evaluating the performance of the road vehicles.

The PUVs shall be classified in accordance to the following:

  • Class 1 shall refer to the UNECE Category M2 Class B (minimum 9 and maximum 22 passengers, all seated)
  • Class 2 shall refer to UNECE Category M2 Class I (more than 22 passengers,
    with standing)
  • Class 3 shall refer to UNECE Category M2 Class III (more than 22 passengers,
    all seated)
  • Class 4 shall refer to UNECE Category M2 Class III (more than 22 passengers
    all seated) with provisions for cargo

Once the specifications are approved, DOTr will then provide the final specs to several local vehicle builders so that each may build their own prototype for approval. By September 2017, a manufacturer will be chosen and provided a grant to produce these vehicles.

So, what do you think of this new 'Jeepney'?