More and more transport groups are making the transition to safer and cleaner modern public utility vehicles (PUVs) with help from Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC). Just recently, the company turned over 15 PUVs to MetroExpress Connect Inc. (MCI) in Balanga, Bataan.

This marks the province of Bataan officially joining the government's PUV Modernization Program which will see the eventual replacement of all old & dilapidated jeepneys. The turnover ceremony was attended by key officials from IPC, MCI, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), as well as from the local government.

Like the other PUVs IPC has turned over before, the 15 units they recently handed over are based off the QKR77 platform. The rear bodies were designed and manufactured by Almazora Motors Group and come with the following features; air-conditioning, side-facing entry/exit with automatic closing door, WiFi, GPS, CCTV security, LED monitor displays, and an automated fare collection system. Powering all the PUVs is a 3.0-liter, Euro 4 compliant 4JHI-TC turbo-diesel engine. It puts out 102 PS along with 230 Nm of torque and is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.

LTFRB Region 3 Director Ahmed Cuizon reminded other transport groups to hasten their plans to modernize their fleet in order to meet the government's plan of having modern PUVs plying the roads.

These 15 modern PUVs from Isuzu are ready to ply in Bataan image

“They have to step up their modernization efforts between now and June 30, 2020. Otherwise, their franchises and routes will be given to those who can provide modernized PUVs to the riding public. In the seven provinces of Region 3, where Bataan belongs, we project up to 30,000 jeepneys need to be modernized by that time,” said Cuizon.

Hiroto Nakaguro, IPC Assistant Sales Division Head, extended his gratitude to the growing number of transport groups such as MCI who trust the Isuzu brand in providing them the needs to help serve their community and the riding public.

With the deadline set by the end of June 2020, transport cooperatives are encouraged to make the switch early.

“We are about to make history because what was once the historical jeepney will now be historically reinvented. And I am very happy to note that the modern PUVs you see here will become the new normal in the Philippine public transport system,” added Cuizon.