‘Gawang Pinoy’: Manufacturer promotes cheaper modern jeepney option

January 3, 2024 - 7:04 PM
Composite photo of the design of the modern jeepney called The Francisco Jeepney (elmerbfrancisco/Facebook)

A jeepney manufacturer offered a cheaper electric jeepney unit featuring the iconic traditional jeepney design.

Elmer Francisco, the owner of the jeepney manufacturer Francisco Motors, uploaded pictures of the company’s version of an e-jeepney called “Francisco Jeepney.”

“Francisco Jeepney ang solusyon sa modernisasyon mula sa Francisco Motors, ang pinakauna at pinakamalaking manggagawa ng 100% brand-new jeepney sa kasaysayan ng mundo,” Francisco said.

Each unit of the Francisco Jeep costs P985,000. This is a much lower rate compared to the reported P2.8 million per modern jeepney under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

“Maghanap kayo ng makakatapat sa presyo ng tunay na hari ng kalsadang subok nang matibay, maaasahan, makakalikasan, pang matagalan at mura sa presyong Php985k. Hindi kayo lulubog sa utang at lalo pang lalaki ang kita nyo sa pang-araw-araw,” Francisco said.

“Gawang Pinoy para sa kapwa Pinoy,” he added.

Francisco promoted this vehicle on Facebook on December 31. It was the same day as the consolidation deadline for franchises of traditional jeepneys as part of the requirements of the PUVMP.

Transport groups held several nationwide transport strikes to express their opposition to the PUVMP requirements.

Members of these groups, alongside progressive groups, also took to the streets to voice their discontent.

Several Filipinos who saw the post praised the local manufacturer for its initiative amid the protests.

“Ganito lang dapat ang presyuhan sa pobreng driver ng kalsada,” a Facebook user said.

“Ito ang the best gawang Pinoy tangkilikin ang sariling atin,” another Filipino on Facebook commented.

“Bakit nga ba kailangan sa China pa manggaling ang modernization ng mga jeepneys samantalang meron naman tayong pantapat sa kanila sa mas mababang halaga? Bukod sa Francisco jeepneys, meron pa din Sarao motors,” an X user said.

The local user is referring to the electric jeepney vehicles manufactured by a Chinese-Korean company named e-Future Motors Philippines (PH) Inc. Executives tapped local transport operators to distribute these imported jeepneys in line with the PUVMP.

The Department of Transportation earlier said that it will prioritize local manufacturers in producing the modern jeepney units in question. It also said that this move will keep the traditional jeepney design.

For cultural preservation

Meanwhile, in an interview with Philstar Life, Francisco said that the company came up with the Francisco Jeep “to preserve” the culture of the traditional jeepneys, which could possibly be phased out in compliance with the modernization program.

“We came up with the modernized full electric Francisco Jeepney in order to preserve; moreover, celebrate our culture, of which the Jeepney is a huge part,” he was quoted in its report as saying.

“So, why replace these beautiful iconic designed Jeepneys with mini buses from other countries when we Filipinos practically invented the jeepney? It would be like removing a piece of our identity,” the manufacturing head also said.

Francisco Motors has been one of the long-running manufacturers of traditional jeepneys in the country since 1949.

Those who are interested in purchasing or ordering a unit of the e-vehicle can visit the company’s Facebook page or visit its website.