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August 2, 2018

Iloilo Gets First Taste of Modern PUV with Isuzu Philippines's Roll Out of 15 Units

Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) turned over the initial batch of 15 modernized jeepneys to Metro Express Connect Inc in Iloilo.

The formal turnover ceremony, attended by Mr. Hajime Koso (President of Isuzu Phils Corp), Engr. Ric Pallesco (General Manager and President of MetroExpress Connect, Inc.), DOTr Asec. Mark de Leon, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra, and Villar Group founder Mr. Manny Villar, marks a significant milestone for the province, as this signals the start of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) in Iloilo.

The same modernized jeepneys that were turned over in Manila last June 18, designed and built by IPC in partnership with body builder Almazora Motors Corp, will now ply the routes serviced by Metro Express Connect Inc.

During the formal turnover ceremonies, Koso remarked “The City of Iloilo has been emerging as a place where heritage and history are valued highly by the community; hence it has often been referred to as the ‘Emerging City of Museums’. But what sets it apart is that it is also very much a progressive urban center with a vision for its future, and as such has become the economic and commercial hub of the Western Visayas region. It is in this light that Isuzu Philippines Corp is proud to introduce to Ilonggos our version of the modernized jeepney, which retains the original heritage and purpose of the iconic jeepney and adapts it to the needs of a fast-growing modern metropolis.”

Koso added that Isuzu's modernized jeepney is also a product of the globally renowned truckmaker’s extensive experience with, and knowledge of, the Philippine commercial vehicle market, the road and driving conditions.

The modernized PUVs, assembled using the Isuzu QKR77 platform and the rear body designed and manufactured by Almazora Motors Corp, are air-conditioned Class 2 PUVs with a side-facing seat configuration. The Isuzu QKR platform is assembled in the Philippines and is equipped with Euro IV-compliant 4JH1-TC Diesel Engine that delivers excellent fuel economy. The new PUV body is compliant with Philippine National Standards (PNS 2126:2017).

Members and operators of Metro Express Connect, no strangers to Isuzu light commercial vehicles, chose the truck maker’s modernized jeepney primarily for the Isuzu Advantage unmatched by other modernized jeepney makers. The Isuzu Advantage includes the nationwide availability of spare parts, expert service technicians at 41 dealers across the country, and training for drivers and mechanics.

The initial batch of 15 units IPC turned over to Metro Express Connect represents half of the original order of 30 units of the mass transport provider.

The same design and build excellence, and Isuzu Advantage apply to the other modernized jeepneys from IPC with bodybuilder partners Santarosa and Centro Motors Corp.

“The fruitful collaboration between IPC and the wholly Filipino-owned Almazora Motors Corp ensures that Iloilo City’s commuters ride only in world-class public utility vehicles that also take into careful consideration passenger safety, comfort, and the particular locality's needs,” IPC President Hajime Koso explained.

The PUVMP is envisioned to replace some 200,000 jeepneys nationwide 15 years and older with new, safe and environmentally friendly public utility vehicles.

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