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Shared facility for jeep makers eyed

/ 05:05 AM July 24, 2017

Using the remaining P9 billion budget allocated for the CARS program, the Board of Investments (BOI) is considering putting up a facility that would be shared by jeepney assemblers under the PUV modernization program.

BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo told reporters last week that the facility would include an electro-dip painting facility which was deemed “critical in extending the life” of a vehicle.

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Launched last month, the PUV modernization program is a government initiative spearheaded by the Department of Transportation. The program aims to replace more than 200,000 jeepneys across the country within a three-year period.

The BOI, for its part, is tasked to provide the “local manufacturing solution” that would supply the replacements for the traditional but inefficient transport units.

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“We are studying if we could develop one facility that would be leased to program participants. It’s like a shared service facility. For example, we could put there an electro-dip painting facility because we want [the PUV] to have a useful life of 15 years without getting rusted,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

The electro-dip painting facility, he said, would “provide long lasting coating” to eco-friendly jeepneys. He could not provide the estimated cost of the facility but clarified this would not take the entire P9 billion.

He said program participants would be local vehicle bodybuilders that would assemble the standardized jeepneys.

The Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is asking for inputs from stakeholders on the standard that will be adopted for the PUVs. The agency aims to finalize the blueprint in September.

The draft—which features the dimensional limits of the PUV such as the cabin dimensions and the overall height and width—is currently being circulated among stakeholders in a bid to gather comments before the Aug. 15 deadline.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez previously said the finished product should be priced below P1 million.

Officials often compared this scheme to the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program, a P27-billion government initiative that would pick three car manufacturers to locally produce a combined 600,000 units of vehicles within a six-year period.

However, only Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. have qualified for the CARS program, leaving the BOI a budget of P9 billion that would be used to fund the manufacturing scheme under the PUV modernization initiative.

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TAGS: Business, Jeepney
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