Makilala Transport Cooperative (MATRANSCO) launched the first modern public utility jeepneys (MPUJs) in Cotabato together with 2 electric jeepneys last Monday, 27 September 2021 as part of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board-Regional Franchising Regulatory Office (LTFRB-RFRO) XII Regional Director Paterno Reynato Padua led the ribbon cutting ceremony to formally launch the MPUJs and electric jeepneys at the Overland Terminal, Kidapawan City. Director Padua was joined by Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Regional Director Elma R. Ogius, officials from the Cotabato province, the PUVMP Project Management Office (PMO) and Office of Transportation Cooperatives (OTC).
Director Padua thanked MATRANSCO and everyone who joined the ceremony for their continuous support, especially on the PUVMP.
Secretary Art Tugade also expressed his gratitude to MATRANSCO and to all transport cooperatives and corporations in the province of Cotabato. “Buong puso ho akong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng tumugon at patuloy pang tumutugon sa gobyerno upang maisakatuparan ang mga adhikain ng programang ito. Ang paglulunsad ho ng kauna-unahang modern PUJs sa Cotabato ay isang patunay na tuloy na tuloy ho ang modernisasyon sa buong bansa,” said Tugade.
The new PUV units which will be plying along the Kabacan-Bulatukan routes via Makilala-Kidapawan-Matalam are part of the PUVMP Fleet Modernization Component. This aims to ensure the safety and convenience of passengers and guarantee that PUVs are compliant with international environment standards.
“Makaaasa ‘ho kayo na ipagpapatuloy natin ang mga adhikain ng PUVMP para maisaayos ang sistema ng pampublikong transportasyon at magkaroon ng mas maayos at mas matatag na kabuhayan ang lahat ng mga tsuper, operator, konduktor, at iba pang transport workers. Walang sinuman ang maiiwan sa programang ito,” said Tugade.
To date, 82 models of modern PUVs from 39 local and international companies have been given Certificates of Compliance (COC) following the extensive evaluation process conducted by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Department of Science and Technology Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC). Among the 82 models that passed the PNS, 10 units fall under the Class 1 PUV category, 46 under the Class 2 PUV category, and 26 under Class 3 PUV category. Four Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturers also passed the valuation and were given COCs.
The units are assessed against the Philippine National Standards (PNS) developed by the Department of Trade and Industry Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS). Modern units are required to undergo this evaluation process to ensure the quality and safety of the units before they are released in commercial markets.
The DTI-BPS developed the PNS 2131:2018 for Class 1 and PNS 2126:2017 for class 2 and 3 for modern PUVs based on the regulations of the United Nations (UN) and the Draft Philippine National Standards (DPNS) 2119-2:2017. Included in the measurement of standards are the arrangement of the seats, capacity, emergency exit, step board, handrail, and door positions of the PUV.
To date, PNS for the Class 4 PUV is being finalized and the public consultation for the draft standards of the minibus will begin while the draft of the details for the public utility buses (PUBs) is also being developed. The LTFRB published the Memorandum Circular (MC) 2021-002 for the specifications of the Class 1, 2, and 3 PUJs and Class 3 UV Express.