October celebration

The 10th month of the year is proving to be a busy month for celebrations. And it certainly isn’t just because it’s Octoberfest

Honda is celebrating its 30th year of operations in the country. Ford is celebrating October as Truck Month. Mercedes-Benz is celebrating Octoberfest not with the usual beer as in Germans of yore, but with deals that includes hundreds of thousands in discounts.

Honda’s 30th

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) is celebrating the 30th year of operations in the country this month, 30 years of successfully selling what can be called legacy models — the Civic, the Accord, the CR-V, and the City — and  newer innovative models like the Mobilio, BR-V, and Civic Type R.

The occasion may have called for grander festivities but under Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the celebration was online with many partners in the industry and in media attending.

Still, it was significant milestone, all the more with Honda taking advantage of the occasion to formally introduce Masahiko Nakamura as HCPI president who assumed office in April, right in the middle of the strictest community quarantine protocols.

At the virtual celebration, Honda tipped media of plans to roll out two new models before the month is over.

Also as part of the celebration, Honda offers a P180,000 discount for the Type R Civic, which is also nod to the model that established Honda’s presence locally. The Civic was the first model sold in the local market back in the 1990s and to date has sold 131,067 units.

Ford Truck Month

Ford Philippines is aiming to sell a lot of pickups this October, its traditional “Truck Month.”

“The Ford Truck Month has been Ford Philippines’ annual tradition of celebrating ownership of the Ford Ranger and making it accessible to more customers through our wide array of great deals,” said PK Umashankar, Ford Philippines president and managing director.

“The Truck Month is back this October and we look forward to serving more Filipinos who need a tough, reliable, and capable pickup truck for their work and play needs,” he added.

From October 1-31, cash discounts, all-in low downpayment deals, and free ownership package worth P100,000 is being offered for the purchase of the Ranger Wildtrak, XLS, or Raptor, Ford said in a press release.

Ford is also offering deals for its SUVs and Transit van with its Seize the Deal promotions available until October 31, it added.

MB October-Feast

Also offering hard-to-resist deals for its lineup of luxury vehicles this October is Mercedes-Benz Philippines.

Mercedes-Benz calls this an October-feast of deals from zero interest rates, low monthly amortization, low down payment, to cash discounts, which also come packed with freebies.

Buyers can have a brand new C Class Benz for as low as P2.99 million, an E-Class for P3.59 million, a V-Class for P4.19 million

You can find out more of these deals at Mercedes-Benz showrooms on Edsa Greenhills, Bonifacio Global City, Alabang, and Cebu City.

Motorcycle taxis

Motorcycle taxis may be back soon.

In a radio interview, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Communications and Commuter Affairs Goddes Hope Libiran indicated that the DOTr sees no problem with motorcycle taxis being allowed to resume operations.

However, it was noted that this needs a resolution from Congress to continue with a pilot study on motorcycle taxi operations while legislation is drafted to allow this new mode of public transport.

Already the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has endorsed to Congress a recommendation to start a new pilot study so that motorcycle taxis can help alleviate the lack of public transport under community quarantine restrictions.

The IATF recommendation comes with a letter from local governments of Metro Manila also supporting the resumption of motorcycle operations.

An IATF technical working group has already drafted guidelines for the safe operation of motorcycle taxis.

In the radio interview, Libiran said the DOTr needs a legal basis to allow motorcycle taxis to operate. Hence the need for a Congress resolution.

Commuter and consumer groups or organizations should really be calling on Congress to initiative moves to allow companies like Angkas to resume operations.

It’s only common sense really. Already riding-in-tandem is now allowed with some conditions to make it safe against the spread of Covid-19 contagion.

Free AFCS cards

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has given teeth to Department of Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade’s call for free Beep or Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS) cards.

The LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 2020-057. The title of the memorandum circular says it all: “Removal of Fees of AFCS Cards Charged to Commuters Apart from Fare Load.”

This should force the hand of AFCS and bus operators to provide cards for loading of fares free.

The DOTr wants to encourage the use of contactless payment of fare in. bus and other forms of transport and had initially implemented this at the EDSA Busway.

But after commuters complained about the high initial cost of acquiring Beep cards, the DOTr backtracked a bit to allow both use of Beep cards and cash payment using makeshift ticket booths at loading and unloading stations or bays.

Tugade then said the EDSA Busway conglomerate should look for another AFCS operator that would provide fare cards for free.

This call also echoed President Duterte’s wish for free Beep cards.

In issuing MC 2020-057, LTFRB Chairman Martin B. Delgra said: “The safety of the commuting public has always been our priority whenever LTFRB implements its policies, especially during this pandemic. Despite the unfortunate circumstance, the agency will continue to strengthen its  enforcement of safety guidelines until such time that the cashless payment in the EDSA Busway route will resume.”

Happy Motoring!!!

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