Cebu adds 100 modern PUVs on its roads

Next time you’re in Cebu, getting around may just be a little bit easier—and more modern.

That’s because the city has added another 100 modern jeepneys as part of the country’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

Dubbed PeoplesJeep, the new public utility vehicles were rolled out by the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CPMPC). The modern jeeps are to ply different routes around Metro Cebu.

Over the years, jeepneys have become one of the signature looks of the Philippines. Foreign tourists especially often find it amusing to ride one, almost always impressed by how passengers give their payment to the driver by passing the fare from one passenger to the next until it reaches up front.

Time will tell if these modern jeepneys will have the same charm, given that more of them are starting to ply not just Cebu, but other parts of the country as well.

The newly rolled out jeeps in Cebu are Durabus Zhongtong Class 2, which are compliant with the Philippine National Standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 

The 25-seater units are equipped with global positioning system (GPS), speed limiter, front and rear cameras, indoor TV for entertainment, air-conditioning, foam seats, and security CCTV. That’s a helluva update from the traditional jeepneys. 

The modern PUVs are powered by environmentally compliant Euro 4/5 diesel engines, which significantly reduce carbon and sulfur emissions. Fare payment is via the automatic fare collection system through a fare card tapped at the front.

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.

The program significantly benefits drivers who 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.

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 Department of Transportation (DOTr) modernization plan, old jeepneys will be gradually replaced with new PUVs and state-run lenders Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Landbank of the Philippines will extend special financing to help transport groups and cooperatives.