This Russian-made modern PUV is designed for PH roads

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2019   •   2050

GAZelle Next Citiline is made by a Russian giant automaker GAZ. This modern PUV has met the standards of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for the government’s PUV modernization program.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has issued Department Order No. 2017-011 in 2017 which aims for a well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector.

UNTV’s motoring show, Manibela took for a spin one of these modern PUVs, the Russian-made GAZelle Next Citiline mini bus.

READ: Car geeks, here’s what you missed on Manibela’s pilot episode

According to Manibela host, Daniel Razon, the GAZelle Next Citiline has passed LTFRB’s requirements:

  • Euro-4 compliant engine
  • Side loading doors
  • High head room
  • Electronic payment option

It is a 22-seater vehicle that has a soft suspension which will make commuters more comfortable during their ride.

However, several transport groups still oppose the phase out of old jeepneys. On Monday (September 30), transport groups held a nationwide protest against the modernization program

Jeepney groups said the modernization program can possibly increase jeepney fares and a lot of jeepney drivers can lose their only source of livelihood.

According to DOTr department order, the modernization program seeks to have a safer, comfortable and environmental-friendly transportation in country.

GAZelle Next Citiline is just one of the modern PUV designs that passed the requirements of the LTFRB.

What else did you miss in previous episodes of Manibela?

Rear view: Violkswagen 1979 Combi Rivera

Auto-updates: Rear occupant alert

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DOTr drops 2020 deadline for phase-out of old PUVs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 26, 2019

A ‘jeepney’, or local minibus, goes through a main thoroughfare in Caloocan City, north of Manila, Philippines 19 March 2018. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has dropped the 2020 deadline for the phase-out of all old public utility vehicles (PUV).

The DOTr said they will not implement a total phase out on old jeepneys but they still have to undergo road worthiness test to be allowed to operate.

According to transport group Pasang Masda, they don’t see any problems if the June 2020 deadline for the PUV modernization will be moved.

Pasang Masda President Obet Martin also vowed to continue buying modern jeepneys to replace their old ones. The transport group currently has 60 operating modern jeepneys.

Martin is also optimistic that the rest of the transport group will still strive to follow the government’s PUV modernization program.

“Alam ko na they will follow at kailangan ang ating mga operator na affected, maging seryoso po tayo, (I know they will follow. For the operators that will be affected, we should also be serious)” he said.

However, Stop and Go transport group has questioned DOTr’s decision to not push through with the June 2020 deadline.

Stop and Go Transport President Jun Magno also expressed disappointment over the government’s ‘defective’ motor vehicle inspection system. He said it will be difficult for old PUVs to operate beyond June 2020.

“Nasaan na ang MVIS natin, sasabihin niyo road worthy kahit dito sa central office, obsolete na ang kanilang machine [MVIS], (Where are our MVIS? You will speak of road [worthiness] but the machines in the central office are obsolete)” he said.

The transportation department has launched the PUV modernization program in 2017 but after three years only 2,595 units (1.5%) are operating in various areas in the country.—AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

LRMC launches Ikot MNL mobile app for LRT-1 riders, tourists

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 19, 2019

The Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) on Tuesday (November 19) launched Ikot MNL – a mobile app for LRT-1 riders and tourists.

Ikot MNL provides real-time information about train arrivals and departures, fare information, crowd volume, and other advisories.

Passengers can also send their queries or complaints through the app. Tourists can also get information about famous tourist spots around Metro Manila.

LRMC CEO Juan Alfonso said that the app can provide a seamless journey of passengers.

“At least pagdating niya sa station alam niya kung ilang minutes dadating iyong train. Also let’s say pwede siyang pumili between two stations makikita niya iyong mas hindi crowded (At least [the passenger] can determine how many minutes before the train arrives. They can also choose between two stations depending on which is less crowded),” he said.

Alfonso also wants to assist commuters during the holiday season, especially with expected traffic congestion.

“Pwede tayong magkaroon ng tips kung saan pwede mag-Christmas shopping, for example Doroteo Jose station. Second is also iyong schedules natin we’ll be constantly updating iyong schedules (We can provide tips on where to Christmas shop, for example, in Doroteo Jose Station. Second our schedule, we will be constantly updating our schedules),” he added.

However, the LRMC has admitted there are still a few things to fix regarding the app including the accuracy of the real-time train situation.

Ikot MNL is available in IOS and Andriod devices. It can be downloaded through Playstore and Google Play.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Modern PUV units to start plying Nichols-PITX route on Nov. 11

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program has started.

In line with this, a total of 15 modern PUV units will start plying the Nichols – Magallanes – Mall of Asia – Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) route starting November 11.

The new Class 2 PUV units manifest the standards set by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), equipped with air-conditioning units, CCTV, WiFi access, GPD and side entrance.

To comply with the environmental requirements, the modern PUV units use Euro-4 fuel.

On Thursday (November 7), Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade led the turnover ceremony and inspection of the modern jeepney from engine manufacturer Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC). He was joined by Pasang Masda President Ka Obet Martin.

Tugade thanked the Pasang Masda for supporting the government’s modernization program.

“Mapapahayag ko ang aking pasasalamat sa Pasang Masda, kay Ka Obet, na winawagayway at kinakalat sa buong kapuluan ang paniniwala nila sa modernization program,” Secretary Tugade said.

For his part, Martin vowed to support the administration’s PUV modernization initiatives on the intention of providing comfort to the riding public.

 “Wala pong ibang hangarin ang ating Pangulo kundi mabigyan ng maayos na serbisyo, mabigyan ng maayos na sasakyan ang ating mga kababayan ganun din po ang panuntunan ng ating Kalihim,” Martin noted.

Meanwhile, Tugade also announced the Department’s plan to release a Class 1 PUV unit which is cheaper and with larger capacity of up to 13 passengers.

IPC President Hajime Koso, likewise, expressed confidence that their vehicles “will be able to provide a more durable, comfortable, and safe transport solution for the riding public,”

“I have always believed that the Isuzu PUVs are truly a vehicle made by the Filipinos for the Filipinos. As they say in Tagalog, ‘gawang Pilipino, para sa Pilipino,’ he said.

Secretary Tugade calls on other PUV drivers and operators to join in the government’s PUV modernization program for their benefit and the general public as well.

“Believe in the modernization program. Believe that the government will be one in you in giving the support and cooperation, so we can launch the modernization program to its really, good, ultimate culmination,” he concluded.

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