This Russian-made modern PUV is designed for PH roads

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 2, 2019   •   3479

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 defends jeepney modernization program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 25, 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has defended the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) Modernzation Program, saying it does not favor the rich but the commuters.

In a social media post, the DOTr said the PUV Modernization Program will benefit the drivers as they would have a salary with fixed working hours, as well as benefits from the Social Security System (SSS) . The program also aims to remove the ‘boundary system’, and lessen air pollution.

“Sa PUV Modernization, hindi lang makina, kalidad, o disenyo ng jeep ang binabago. Binabago dito ang nakagawiang sistema ng mga jeepney drivers at commuters, (The PUV Modernization will not just change the quality, design, and the machine of jeepneys. It will also change the old system of drivers and commuters),” the post read.

The DOTr said the government already gave jeepney operators a three-year transition period for them to have a proper fleet management. The department also reiterated that as long as the traditional jeepney passes the road worthiness standards, it will still be allowed to operate.

“Kahit hindi bago o traditional jeepney pa iyan, kung papasa naman sa road worthiness standards, papayagan pa rin po iyang tumakbo, (Even if it is a traditional jeepney, it will be allowed to operated if it passes the road worthiness standards),” the department said. AAC

Recto asks gov’t to ease transport restrictions, provide more options for workers

Robie de Guzman   •   June 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto has urged the government to relax its restrictions on public transportation to serve commuters during the community quarantine.

“You want to restart the economy? Then let PUVs (public utility vehicles) restart their engines,” he said in a statement on Monday.

“There are three important T’s today: tests, trabaho, transportasyon. Screening for coronavirus is no longer a requisite for returning to work. But without a ride, there is no work. And no work, no pay,” he added.

Recto issued the statement a week after a general community quarantine (GCQ) took effect in Metro Manila which allowed more businesses to reopen and more employees to return to their work.

Public transportation operations were also allowed but only with limited routes and capacity to observe physical distancing and other health measures.

“Allowing workplaces to open without providing the people with the means to go there is like telling the President he can now cross the Pasig River from his residence to his office for as long he does not ride any boats,” he said.

“That, today, is the sink-or-swim situation for the nation’s breadwinners,” he added.

Recto appealed to the government to ease the “brutal” lack of transportation by allowing  husband-and-wife to ride a motorcycle in tandem.

“If they share the same bed at night, why can’t they ride a bike together during the day?” he asked.

He also believes that jeepney and UV drivers should be allowed to ply the roads again, subject to health conditions, and called on the government to partly subsidize the seats they are compelled to keep vacant since they are only allowed to operate under reduced capacity.

“And more buses, please, for they are the tickets out of temporary unemployment,” he said.

Recto also said that the establishment of safe bike lanes and mass distribution of bicycles to workers should also be accelerated.

“The Senate-approved bill reauthorizing the Bayanihan Act earmarks P17 billion for bike lanes, sidewalks, bicycles and other things which form the foundation of a national bicycle infrastructure. That amount includes test runs for a “service contracting scheme” for PUVs,” he said.

Other senators have also called on the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to open more bus routes to alleviate the travel woes of commuters.

The DOTr earlier said it has opened 15 rationalized bus routes in Metro Manila and nearby areas. This is half of the 31 routes that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board planned to open amid the quarantine from the previous 96 routes covering 4,600 buses.

The DOTr also appealed for public understanding as it plans to resume public transport gradually and in two phases to prevent the possible second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Sen. Binay challenges DOTr officials to commute to come up with better plans

Marje Pelayo   •   June 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday challenged Transportation officials to take public transport going to work so they can experience firsthand the daily struggles of commuters

This was after hundreds of commuters were stranded on the first day of the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila and other areas as part of the national government’s decision to ease restrictions amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Binay insists that Transport officials must also experience the hardship of commuting to be able to understand the situation and come up with a more reasonable plan to help the riding public. 

“Mabuti sila’t aircon ang mga sasakyan. Kung subukan kaya ng mga opisyal ng DOTr mag-commute papasok sa opisina? Dapat maramdaman nila ang hirap ng mga commuter, [Good for them that they have personal vehicles with air-conditioning, but would DOTr officials dare to commute to work? They should experience the hardships of commuters],” Binay said.

“They won’t be able to plan well if they don’t understand the people’s daily struggles.”

The lady senator emphasized that transport officials shouldn’t make an ‘experiment’ out of Filipino workers who have been suffering for months due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Hindi po lahat ay may kotse, may motorsiklo o bisikleta. Hindi lahat kayang maglakad ng ilang kilometro sa gitna ng baha at ulan, [Not all people have cars, motorbikes, or bicycles. Not all people are able to walk long distances in heavy rain and flood],” Binay said.

“Our workers and the commuting public don’t deserve this kind of treatment.” she added.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has yet to comment on the matter.

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