July 19, 2018, 5:55 am
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2nd gen keeps jeepney tradition alive

Francisco Motors Corp. (FMC), the pioneer in jeepney manufacturing in the Philippines, is not about to let the iconic king of the road fade away from the market amid talks of modernizing public transportation.

FMC has formed a new company,  Elmer Francisco Industries (EFI) led by Elmer, the second generation of the Franciscos, for the production of a brand new model of its jeepney.

Under the registered trade name Francisco passenger jeepney or FPJ,  this modern jeepney that is compliant to the standards set by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Trade and Industry  under the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) modernization program. 

Through its manufacturing facility at the FTI-Special Economic Zone and proposed expansion plant in Mindanao, EFI will produce jeepney variants that are powered by either an electric powertrain or  a Euro 4 compliant diesel engine. 

EFI’s latest venture will  boost the market for both electric-powered (QEV Tech) and Euro IV compliant diesel (Isuzu) powered jeepneys. 

The FPJ is manufactured to be environment-friendly and will operate for the convenience and safety of the riding public. 

Among the convenience features of FPJ are free Wi-Fi, CCTV cameras, automated fare collection, air-conditioning for some units, speed limiters, among others.

“We are honored to be part of this historic moment in our country’s history. For decades, the Francisco passenger jeepney has been an icon in the Philippine transport industry. Our entry into the next generation PUV is our show of commitment that Francisco is here to stay and will continue with our commitment to serve the public with our new line of FPJs,” said Elmer Francisco, founder and chairman of EFI.

According to Francisco, EFI would carry that same 71 years of tradition and experience in jeepney that his father, Jorge and uncle Fernando , had started. 

FMC started as a small shop that specialized in painting jeepneys in 1947 before becoming a reputable jeepney body builder. 

Through the years, FMC has been synonymous to the jeepney. In  2017, government launched the PUV modernization program which aims  to make the country’s public transportation system efficient and environmentally friendly by 2020.

To this day, there is still a lot of apprehension about the program.

FMC through EFI is one of the players which have responded to government’s call to modernize the jeepney. Unlike other players, EFI chose to keep the traditional design. 

“The classic and iconic jeepney design is already a part of our Filipino culture. Anywhere in the world, when you say jeepney, even foreigners will identify it with the Philippines,” said Francisco. 

Francisco said EFI was formed as a new corporation to qualify for registration with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and avail of incentives, thus enabling  it to  lower the cost of production and offer lower selling price for the FPJ.

 EFI will be registered under the new domestic market enterprise of PEZA which allows 100 percent sales for domestic market for 10 years and extendable to another 10 years. 

Francisco said the company would use those 10 years as  incubation period in preparation for export,

EFI is setting up two  new manufacturing plants both inside PEZA economic zones. One is at FTI in Taguig and the other one is at PHIVIDEC in Misamis Oriental.

Under the plan, EFI will participate in both  Class II and Class III segments of the eco-PUV program. Class 2 are PUVs that can accommodate  23 and more passengers – both seated and standing. Class 3 PUV is similar to Class 2 minus the standing passengers

According to Francisco, EFI will be able to produce 50 jeepneys per month for the    next 6 to 8months. At full capacity, EFI , can produce up to 3,600 jeepneys per month. 

By introducing FPJ to the public, EFI intends to focus on providing competitively-priced brand new jeepneys that would replace outdated jeepneys with units that are compliant to the Clean Air Act.

EFI has also partnered with technology service provider I-Pay MYEG Philippines Inc. (MYEG Philippines) to provide its Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS) designed for the FPJ.

The integrated ticketing system will utilize multi payment platforms that allows instant payment for jeepney passengers through e-wallet, NFC cards and QR payment methods.

The AFCS holds all solutions to automate and go seamless in the collection of fare payments. 

The real-time AFC System focuses on helping operators to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs.

 Embedding the AFCS technology into the PUV modernization program largely benefits operators by ensuring daily collection for them and enabling financial institution to have a facility to collect amortization on their behalf.  
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