In a Facebook post, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) together with the Toyota Motor Philippines Incorporated (TMPI) released its latest modern public utility vehicle (PUV). According to DOTr, the approved 12-seater Toyota Hilux modern PUV was worth ₱998,000.
TMPI’s bet for PUVMP
The PUV model is Toyota’s entry to the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
According to DOTr, “Ang Toyota Hilux Class 1 modern PUV ang magiging pambato ng TMPI para sa isinusulong na Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) ng gobyerno.“
DOTr considered the Toyota Hilux version as the ideal PUV to service inner-city, municipality or barangay/secondary routes, which are currently being served by 10-seater multicabs.
More than transporting passengers
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade inspected the PUV himself. He personally test drove the unit together with DOTr and TMPI officials, including TMPI Chairman Alfred TY, Toyota President Satoru Suzuki, and Toyota First Vice President for Corporate Affairs Atty. Rommel Gutierez.
This Toyota Hilux PUV version has an air-conditioning system, GPS, CCTV camera in the passenger cabin, dashcam for the road ahead, Wi-Fi connection, and is PWD (Persons With Disabilities)-friendly.
The vehicle can accommodate 12 people, is air-conditioned, equipped with GPS, wi-fi, dashcam, and is PWD (Persons With Disabilities)-friendly.
The controversial PUVMP
The government’s modernization program was ordered in the year 2017. Since then, the DOTr was caught under fire of controversies.
The great issue was the program’s goal of eliminating the old jeepney models as well as UV Express vehicles by the year 2020. DOTr aims to replace the phased-out PUVs with environment-friendly versions such as the Euro Diesel 4.
Transport groups conducted “tigil-pasada” rallies to fight off the modernization program. Stop and Go coalition described the program as “anti-poor.” According to them modern jeepneys are worth over ₱2 million. However, the government data said its worth ranges from ₱1.2 million to ₱1.8 million only.
The less than a million peso price tag of Toyota’s version of PUV tackle the “anti-poor” issue. Based on the comments from the said FB post, people are not happy with the design and limited capacity.
In the side of DOTr’s effort to push PUVM, it seems fair to give the government the benefit of the doubt.
Source: CNN Philippines