ISUZU Philippines Corp. will be throwing its hat in the ring for the supply of the “modern Filipino jeepney” along the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) public-utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.
Isuzu Philippines President and CEO Hajime Koso said that, even if a detailed menu of government incentives cannot be disclosed yet, the menu must be comparable to those offered to four-door vehicle manufacturers through the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.
“It’s the government decision, not ours,” Koso said at the sidelines of the car company’s 20th anniversary celebration festivities. “But [we hope the incentives] are similar to CARS—with fixed investment incentives, plus some kind of subsidy.”
Under the CARS Program, three car models—essentially three slots in the program—have an allocated budget of P9 billion each. This P27-billion support is divided between two kinds of incentives: fixed investment support (40 percent of the model-life budget) and a production volume incentive.
Earlier this year, the Board of Investments (BOI) decided to channel the budget for the CARS Program’s vacant third slot as a contribution to the DOTr’s PUV modernization program. This subprogram seeks to allow Filipino automotive-parts suppliers to participate in supplying local parts. Only some large car parts, like the power train and body, are to be imported.
Isuzu Philippines was not able to participate in the CARS Program due to the high production volume required by the BOI for qualification.
Isuzu Philippines Marketing Head Joseph Bautista said they intend to participate in the Class-2 and Class-3 categories of the PUV modernization program.
The Philippine National Standards bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry has already crafted specific technical guidelines for the PUV. According to the bureau, their definition of Class 2 refers to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Category M2 Class 1 and Category M2 Class 3.
The UNECE promulgates its own standards for classifying vehicles. The broader M2 category refers to vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat and having a maximum mass not exceeding 5 tons.
Specifically, UNECE Category M2 and M3 vehicles have a capacity exceeding 22 passengers in addition to the driver. Category M2 Class 1 vehicles are constructed with areas for standing passengers, to allow frequent passenger movement, a UNECE document said. Category M2 Class 3 vehicles are constructed exclusively for the carriage of seated passengers.
Bautista confirmed they will be using Isuzu’s M-series platform, referring to a 4.5-ton vehicle equipped with a Euro 4 engine.
Complying to European standards, just like the move to comply with Euro 4 fuel compatibility, is seen as the Philippines’s attempt to upgrade its environmental standards.
Koso told reporters there’s still no forecast for volume production on their part, as the government is planning to divide the 200,000 volume replacement among different car manufacturers.
However, he said, the total production capacity of Isuzu stands at 30,000 units annually. Isuzu will be unveiling an initial prototype on October 12, but this will still be subject to further revisions based on feedback during public consultations, Koso added.
The DoTr is in the process of rolling out a modernization program that will see a phaseout by the year 2020 of jeepneys more than 15 years old. The program aims to modernize the fleet of jeepneys plying the road through a low-carbon and low-emission vehicle technology.
Jeepneys are cultural icons of the Filipinos. There is a reason why it is considered a Filipino cultural icon. Because of its look and design that was conceptualized by Filipinos based on their values and beliefs. It is not just a transport but a cultural expression of the Filipinos. I’m not against modernization of the Jeepneys. But a modernization that should be in harmony of our culture and tradition as Filipinos. I don’t wan’t to lose one of our prize cultural identity as a Filipino because of modernity. If London has their double decker bus,New York their metro train, Tokyo their shinkansen, Bangkok their tuktuk, Manila has its prize jeepneys.. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b8ceb96275347178c9e4660ecc7c142ff73ca1db47567c5089bfc6b04a0a68d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13d4f7bab226993714ba4372522eef79fe079de0c3db2f9b6c40ee43e5cfe494.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5c15e0d7602e9d48b54b8cffe1954d330389c18fc8c24b4e33a0b2a998f2288a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fd1fbe9603c6be713a84090508c454106b7e4a964dbf9ad2155c368c2e204cca.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/07b0a4f8c5f7f446a2450b7134b94c12f953446949fa87adea328721652d116a.jpg