While the jeepney is considered an icon of Filipino pop culture (not to mention the King of the Road), the sad reality is that many of these conveyances are poorly maintained. You see black smoke bellowing out of the exhaust pipe. Then there are those that figure in fatal accidents.
While this may seem like a grim scenario, all it not lost for the jeepney. As you may very well know, the Department of Transportation and Department of Trade and Industry are set to roll out the PUV Modernization Program and Eco PUV, respectively. What this essentially means is that the staple transport of most Philippine localities and cities is set to take on a new face.
How new, you ask?
Consider the use of either Euro-4 compliant engines or all-electric powerplants and you’ll probably get the picture. Not only will these mills help eliminate that awful black smoke that is poisoning the air, it would help lower maintenance costs as well. Apart from this, a lot of the parts used in these vehicles will conform to international safety standards.
Take for instance the 1.75m floor to ceiling height that allows for standing passengers. Then there are the seats that comply with international standards in terms of comfort and safety. And yes, a lot of the PUVs are set to feature such amenities as PWD-friendly provisions (for wheelchairs and the like), not to mention emergency exits and an automated fare collection system. Modern conveniences like airconditioning, wifi, GPS, cctv and dash cameras, and even speed limiters will be part of the package.
Sure, it sounds lofty. But the Automotive Body Manufacturers Association of the Philippines believes it can and must be done. And it will do everything it can to make it a reality—if only to give our riding public the kind of transportation they truly deserve. Now if only they can do something about those erring drivers…