The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) started a nationwide caravan dubbed “Pagbabago Tungo sa Kaunlaran” (Change Towards Progress) from SM Clark Pampanga on July 4, 2019. “The caravan is a strong manifestation of the collaborative effort of private and public partners in the implementation of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP). We intend to push this program as far and as fast as possible, and that won’t happen without the support of all the stakeholders,” said LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III in his speech. The modern PUV units included in the nationwide caravan are equipped with required features such as the automated fare collection system and are exhibited nationwide for one day each in some 32 cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The caravan’s launch at Pampanga coincided with the simultaneous nationwide launch by the LTFRB of the new routes for the modern PUV. The schedules will be broken down into four phases and will cover the period from July 2019 to January 2020.
Throughout the various legs of the caravan, FOTON Philippines showcased its PUVMP entry, the FOTON F-Jeepney, with the theme “Para sa ‘Pinas!” (For the Philippines) with a word play on “para”, which is the word commonly used by passengers to tell the driver to stop. Powered by a Cummins turbodiesel engine, this Euro 4-compliant modern PUV is designed to comply with the guidelines set by the Philippine National Standards. It sports 21st century additions such as GPS navigation software, a CCTV camera, dash-cam, Wi-Fi connectivity and an entertainment system. The Beep card is also integrated into the vehicle’s payment scheme truly modernizing almost all aspects of this version of public transport. The FOTON F-Jeepney is fitted with fixed stainless bench seats that can hold up to 24 passengers, with 16 sitting down and 8 standing up.
“FOTON Philippines understands the importance of being able to move a large number of people reliably, safely as well as with care for the environment”, said Rommel Sytin, President of FOTON Philippines. “And from this, we see the role of the FOTON F-Jeepney as a workhorse and multi-functional partner for the growing number of PUV operators in the country. It will not just provide a comfortable riding experience for the commuters because we also aim to promote the capabilities of the ubiquitous jeepney, the national icon of Philippine transportation.”
Since it was launched this year, FOTON Philippines has already turned over several fleets of the FOTON F-Jeepney modern PUV to transport cooperatives in towns and provinces like Cainta, Rizal and Pampanga.