New Jeepney Prototypes Bared at 1st PhilApex Auto Show 2017

Prototypes of new jeepney models and environmentally-friendly passenger vehicles installed with beep card readers were the highlight of the show at the 1st Philippine Auto Parts Expo (PhilAPEX).

PhilApex
MD Juan booth

PhilAPEX 2017 took place last October 12 to 13, 2017 at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Pasay City. The Department of Trade and Industry, Board of Investments, Department of Transportation, Philippine Parts Maker Association Inc., Mitsubishi Motors, Toyota, and the Automotive Body Manufacturers Association of the Philippines Inc. worked together to make the first PhilAPEX a reality.

Beep Card Payment

Spearheaded by AF Payments Inc., these new jeeps comply with the Department of Transportation’s jeepney modernization mandate. AF Payments Inc. is a consortium of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp. It specializes in providing contact less payment solutions in the Philippines.

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”We are ready to support the Department of Transportation’s PUJ modernization program,” Peter Maher, President of AF Payments, said. “We have developed a beep card service that is affordable to jeepney operators and will surely be appreciated by commuters in Metro Manila who have already purchased 4 million beep cards.”

Currently, the beep card holds up to P10,000. Additionally, you only need to revalidate your beep card once every four years. The beep card is the primary method of payment for commuters travelling via LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT-3, CAVITEX, and NLEX. It is also a viable payment method at select bus lines and commercial establishments.

PhilApex
people with disability friendly vehicle

Modern Jeepneys

The PhilAPEX event (a) showcased our local auto parts manufacturing capabilities, (b) present the gains from the two CARS Program Participating Car Makers’ (PCMs) implementation of their respective investment plans, and (c) provide the opportunity for a B2B networking among part makers and vehicle manufacturers.

Additionally, PhilAPEX featured the locally-developed eco-PUV prototypes for the DOTr’s PUV Modernization Program. This follows the DTI’s earlier announcement that the CARS’ 3rd slot budget will be shifted to eco-PUV manufacturing, among others, to jump start the development of the Philippine commercial vehicle (CV) sector.

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Isuzu prototypes

Under the theme “Gawang Pilipino, para sa Pilipino”, the expo will showcase the capability of the local parts making sector. Exhibitors will include auto part makers, while the two PCMs: Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation and Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, will present the status of their respective CARS projects. Prospective eco-PUV Program participants will exhibit some 14 eco-PUV prototypes.

PhilApex
PhilAPEX press conference

Press Conference

During the press-conference held within the PTTC compound, officials announced that the program intends to phase out old PUVs, including at least 200,000 jeepneys. However, its critics claim that it is “anti-poor” due to its high cost. However, aside from having bigger passenger capacity, the new models are expected to be more road-worthy jeepneys and passenger vehicles.

Most of the jeepney parts are locally manufactured and this will help the local manufacturing companies.

PhilApex
Speakers at the PhilAPEX press conference

The proposed modernization plan worth Php 417 billion is expected to affect around 70,000 jeepneys in Metro Manila and 280,000 jeepneys nationwide, and around 650,000 drivers.

“The financing package for acquisition of new units endorsed by the Department of Finance (DOF) is very generous – as low as 5% equity, 6% interest rate, and a repayment period as long as 7 years. On top of this, government will offer as high as P80,000 subsidy per unit to cover the equity payment,” the DOTr said.

Higher Fare

Gaite said the plan to phase out jeepneys would result in a higher fare of Php 12 to Php 20 from the current Php 8 for a shorter distance. It would also mean shorter routes and more drivers turning into contractual workers.

The fear for small-time operator is that a single unit of modern jeepney would fetch between Php 1.4 million to Php 1.8 million. This would be mean a Php 16,000 to Php 18,000 monthly amortization with 5 to 6% interest rate.

Alternatives

Among the proposed alternatives to the phaseout of old jeepneys are the rehabilitation of the vehicles, increased government subsidy for jeepney drivers and not the big operators, and lower tariff for imported jeepneys.

 

 

Rence Chan

writer and contributor

social media writer, food lover, heritage advocate, philatelist , deltiologist , numismatist , notaphilist , toy collector, key chain collector, bibliophile , orchid fancier , plant lover , environmental advocate, freshwater aquarium fish hobbyist, tour consultant, memorabilia and art connoisseur.