The future looks good with Isuzu’s PUV

The country’s largest and most dominant diesel manufacturer in the country made Philippine automotive history early this week with the turnover of modern jeepney units to the PH Senate transport cooperative.

As its contribution to the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, which aims to phase out old and dilapidated unsafe public-utility vehicles with more roadworthy and environment friendly PUVs, Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC), turned over 35 units of its modern take of the beloved PH road icon.

Led by IPC president Hajime Koso and Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd, Senator Miguel Zubiri, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, and Department of Transportation Undersecretary Tim Orbos who represented President Rodrigo Duterte, Isuzu turned over the the first batch of 15 units to the Senate Employees Transport Service Cooperative (SETCO), which is an official transport franchise holder authorized to shuttle commuters.

“This is a historic day for the both the Senate and the PH public transport system. This ushers in the modernization of the public transport system, and we in the Senate, with the aid of Isuzu is helping fast track this program,” Sotto said.

The fleet of modern jeepneys will take commuters from the soon-to-open Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange to the Manila Bay area and back.

Isuzu’s version of the modern jeepney will visually change the urban landscape.

Modern inside and out
With the truck head and chassis from Isuzu, the body was engineered and designed by known body builder Almazora. “It took us almost two years to come up with this modern version of the jeepney,” revealed Joseph Bautista, product development head of IPC. “We consulted with experts and travelled to Japan to draw inspiration with regards to the design. We made sure that it was spacious and comfortable for the public to enjoy being transported to their destination,” added Conrad Almazora.

The modern jeepney is powered by Isuzu’s 3.0-liter 4JHI-TC turbo diesel engine that is already Euro4 compliant. It can accommodate up to 25 passengers with others standing along the jeepney’s spacious climate controlled cabin. All 30 units are also equipped with a cashless “Beep” card system that eliminates the need for coins.

Design engineers also incorporated a CCTV system to discourage thieves and to monitor the cabin while it is in motion. A large LCD display monitor situated at the back of the driver is also installed to help the jeepney operator attract advertisements as additional income. Other safety and security features include a fire extinguisher and a glass breaker for emergency situations. As an added safety feature of Isuzu’s modern PUV, each unit is equipped with a speed limiter.

Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd seals the deal with a congratulatory handshake with IPC president Hajime Koso, while Edgard Cabangon of Isuzu Makati (center) looks on.

“The speed can be controlled for both driver and passenger safety. In Metro Manila, the appropriate speed is 60 kph. It can be adjusted by the operator, depending on the city of town speed limit ordinance,” explained Bautista. The speed limiters are supplied by a local company, Speed Limiter PH.

Priced at P1.945 million, Isuzu is finding more ways to bring the price down of the modern jeepney. It seems expensive, but take a look at the benefits: this jeepney is environment friendly, safe, and comfortable to use. It will also help transform the urban landscape of the country with its visually appealing design.