A few days ago, transport group ACTONA proposed its own idea of a modern jeepney before the Land Transportation & Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Unlike the current design by the Department of Transportation and the LTFRB, ACTONA's modern jeepney PUV combines the traditional look of a jeepney but has the space and practicality of a mini-bus.

More importantly, ACTONA claims their version only costs PHP 1.3 million which makes it more affordable compared to the PHP 2.6 million the government currently requires. In fact, the high cost of the new modern PUVs is one of the chief complaints by the drivers and operators of jeepneys.

With jeepney operators and drivers preferring something more affordable while also adhering to the modern PUV standards without having to change the jeepney's looks, ACTONA's proposal quickly got the attention of the public, including the LTFRB themselves.

LTFRB says modern jeepneys can keep traditional look image

As a result, the LTFRB recently announced that modern jeepneys need not lose the traditional look. This means that while modern PUVs will continue to have the classic design that resembles older jeepneys, they will now have upgraded features like optional air-conditioning, side-facing doors, CCTV cameras, and a higher ceiling.

According to LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III, the new jeepney is proof that its traditional looks could be maintained while improving its roadworthiness and having a safer cabin.

“The traditional look can be maintained so the possibility of a phase-out is very, very remote. What we only wanted was to improve the roadworthiness of the vehicle,” said Guadiz.

LTFRB says modern jeepneys can keep traditional look image

The LTFRB Chairman added that the agency is open to the suggestion by President Marcos Jr. to allow existing jeepneys that are still in good condition to continue to operate. Guadiz added that LTFRB would conduct consultations with jeepney operators and drivers to discuss the details of the modernization program.

With the traditional jeepney set to keep its classic look, it seems PUV operators and drivers will be glad to know of this development. Perhaps the only question now is how will the DOTr and LTFRB revise the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines, as well as find a way to reduce the high cost of a modern PUV that is currently priced at around PHP 2.6 million.