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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Mar. 31) – Papua New Guinea could be manufacturing its own "Jeepneys" in three years time if an agreement between officials of PNG and the Philippines bears fruit.

Chairman of the Lands Transport Board David Opa revealed this yesterday at a PNG-Philippines trade meeting.

The move is part of a long-term agreement reached yesterday to start importing the vehicles from the Philippines.

Mr Opa said a trial of the Jeepneys would start in May or earlier depending on the licensed dealer’s position to bring the vehicles into the country.

A license has been granted to the Sealand Resources Company Limited. The company will be selling Jeepneys manufactured in Philippines for the next three years until it is able to start manufacturing here in PNG.

The PNG delegation at the meeting comprised officers from the chamber of commerce, Works and Transport departments, the Prime Minister’s Department and the National Road Safety Council.

The delegate met with the chairman of the Jeepney Manufacturer’s Association in Philippines Orlando Marquez, who said his visit was aimed at finalizing negotiations to acquire the vehicles and see how they would adapt to local conditions within certain periods of their usage.

PNG government officials questioned the changes in which the Jeepneys would have on PMV operators.

Mr. Marquez said the imported Jeepneys would comprise modified forms of units that were already in the country. 

"Jeepney itself refers to the body works of the vehicles, but the parts, engines and everything in the unit are similar to re-conditioned common parts we already have in the country," Mr. Marquez said.

He said when the vehicles are imported, it would be up to the buyers whether they wanted to buy the parts from any other car dealers in the country. 

Discussions also showed that the introduction of Jeepneys would not solve the problem of high costs of operating PMVs. 

Rather, it would reduce the initial costs of business.

This means that Jeepneys can be bought at a cheaper price but their operational costs would be no different to what PMV operators experienced because the parts for the Jeepneys were the same commonly used in the country.

April 1, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:


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