Manufacturers on wait-and-see as issues hound jeepney modernization


Posted at Mar 06 2023 05:01 PM

Watch more on iWantTFC

Some jeepney makers are on wait-and-see mode as the implementation of the public utility vehicles PUV) modernization program hits another snag.

The iconic Filipino jeepney maker Sarao Motors started creating prototypes of modern jeepneys in line with the government’s program in 2017. But 6 years later, the prototypes remain just that—prototypes.

Sarao Motors said it spoke with both local and foreign companies to turn these models into full electric jeepneys or units that could run on liquefied petroleum gas. But deals fell through due of lack of interest on the part of suppliers.

Another option on the table is the use of a Euro 4 engine. But Sarao Motors admitted it would be too expensive to import them without any help from the government. 

“Mamagitan sana ang gobyerno na makipag-tie up doon sa foreign, usually Japanese company, na bigyan tayo ng magandang presyo para makakuha nung mga engines tsaka technology,” said Ed Sarao, project and plant supervisor at Sarao Motors. 

“And at the same time siguro mas maganda, 'pag ini-import yan, bigyan ng mga tax break para murang-mura talaga sa publiko,” he added.

(I hope government can intervene and help us tie up with foreign companies, usually Japanese firms, so we can get good prices on the engines and technology. And at the same time, it would be good if these could be given tax breaks when they are imported.)

Sarao also hopes foreigners can teach Filipinos how to make Euro 4 engines which could filter out pollutants better. 

— ANC, 6 March 2023