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The country’s public utility vehicle modernization program got a major boost with the recent roll out 100 units of public utility vehicles (PUVs) by the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative to ply different routes around Metro Cebu.

Dubbed PeoplesJeep, the new PUVs are Durabus Zhongtong Class 2 which are compliant with the Philippine National Standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry. The 25-seater units are equipped with global positioning system, speed limiter, front and rear cameras, indoor TV for entertainment, air-conditioning, foam seats, and security CCTV.

The modern PUVs are powered by environmentally-compliant Euro 4/5 diesel engines, which significantly reduces carbon and sulfur emissions. Fare payment is via the automatic fare collection system (AFCS) based on the Department of Transportation’s modernization program.

With the rollout, CPMPC now has a total of 170  PeoplesJeeps in its fleet, with the first units launched before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Presently, 12 units are plying the Talamban to Colon line with Route 13C.

“We are one with the government in its goal to modernize the public transportation, particularly in Cebu. We thank our partners, government funding institutions and regulators, and transport operators for this new milestone,” says CPMPC chief executive officer Macario Quevedo.

He said that the cooperative plans to hire at least 300 new drivers, as well as passenger service officers, as they open new routes in Metro Cebu to augment public transport during the pandemic and beyond.

He noted that the program has significantly benefited drivers as they now receive fixed monthly salaries and benefits. Under the modernization financial scheme, a transport cooperative manages the PUV fleet and distributes the monthly income to its owners and drivers.

“This acquisition is our response to the government’s call for a massive industry-wide transport modernization providing efficient, safe and comfortable public transportation, as well as pro-environment initiatives for a cleaner future,” Quevedo stressed.

With over 70,000 members nationwide, the 48-year old CPMPC is one of the country’s biggest and multi-awarded multi-purpose cooperatives to venture on the viability of service-oriented micro, small and medium enterprises.

Under the DOTr modernization plan, old jeepneys will be gradually replaced with new PUVs and state-run lenders Development Bank of the Philippines and Landbank of the Philippines will help transport groups and cooperatives cope up with by extending special financing.

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