Just in time for the re-opening of a rehabilitated Boracay Island, Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) turned over to GRAB Philippines --- units of the Isuzu modernized public utility vehicle (PUV) at the island's Bolabog Terminal on October 26 -- the very day of the island paradise's official re-opening to foreign and domestic tourists.
Attending the momentous turnover and launch of the approved route were officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), IPC executives, and representatives of GRAB Philippines.
As per GRAB, the company supports the Boracay Transport Master Plan, which aims to streamline and optimize transportation on the island with the introduction of the hop on, hop off jeepney system which will transport passengers along the circumferential road. For the initial phase of the operations, IPC turned over three units of its modernized PUV. It also brought in its prototype PUV to be displayed during the formal turnover.
The Isuzu PUVs were assembled using the Isuzu QKR77 cab and chassis platform and the rear body designed and manufactured by Almazora Motors Corp. The units are Coolaire air-conditioned 23-seater Class 2 type PUVs with a side-facing seat configuration.
The new PUV body is compliant with Philippine National Standards (PNS 2126:2017). The passenger cabin floor-to-ceiling height and gangway width are 1,780 mm and 830 mm, respectively, providing more space for passengers to move easily inside. The passenger door is safely situated on the right-hand side, facing the sidewalk. Other design features of the body include panoramic windows and windshields, full-body insulation with GeneQ shield, automatic door closer, ECE-compliant headlamps, brake system, wipers, windshield washer, and side view mirrors, and provisions for persons with disabilities.
Completing the modernized look and features of the new PUVs are the LCD/LED TV monitors and CCTV system by Mikasa, a fire extinguisher, a Vectras GPS navigation system, dashcam and back-up cameras. All of these have been geared for passengers' safety, entertainment, and added convenience.
The new PUVs also come with separate warranty coverages for the platform (3 years or 150,000 km, whichever comes first), body and aircon, options not available for old jeepneys.
IPC President Hajime Koso, who attended the turnover ceremony, lauded the groups responsible for the transformation of Boracay Island. "I congratulate all concerned individuals and organizations in the public and private sectors for pooling their efforts to restore Boracay's place among the world's most beautiful islands. IPC is most certainly proud to share its expertise and world-class vehicles with the people of the island. Our modernized PUVs are very much aligned with the government's vision of a modern, safe, efficient, cost-effective and environment-friendly transport system not only for Boracay, but for the entire Philippines."
The modernization of Boracay's transport system is part of the government's ongoing Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) envisioned to replace some 200,000 jeepneys nationwide 15 years and older with new, safe, and environment friendly PUVs.
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