bamboo jeepneys in leyte

NOTE: This site got hacked last month and boo that my back-up didn’t include the latest 4 posts (lesson learned: back-up everyday!).  I’m resurrecting this third of four posts (original publish date: January 2010) from loose emails and saved drafts.

Look at these ingenious jeepneys spotted in Leyte!

Got these pics in the email last January 2010 from Dorothy Llariza, who said they were passed along by an acquaintance from India.  At first glance, friends and I were quick to dismiss these jeepneys as “surface green”–they use bamboo and other indigenous materials, but still have the same constitution as their CO2-guzzling cousin…. or so we thought.

An online search just now led me to the site of TOTI Eco,  which as it turns out is another ingenious project by a local government official (and also the source of the pics doing the email circuit)!

Feeling the need for a low-cost, fuel-efficient, safe, and environmentally-friendly alternative mode of transportation (versus the accident-prone habal-habal, a motorbike usually overloaded with passengers),  Tabontabon mayor Dr. Rustico Balderian created the Tabontabon Organic Transport Industry (TOTI) Eco cars, which proudly claim to be a revolution in transportation:

Important Points to Keep in Mind About a Bamboo Car vs. Vehicles of Steel
-Our bamboo cars run 100% on coco-biodiesel.
-90% made of bamboo.
-Bamboo is indigenous & renewable.
-Bamboo is stronger in tensile strength than steel.
-It takes 5 tons of ore to make 1 ton of steel plate.
-Consider the heat needed to process 5 tons of ore.
-Made by Tabontabon’s Out-of-School Youth

ECO1 can seat 20 people including the driver. It can run on ONE gallon of Biodiesel fuel for 8 hours. It can climb more than 20% grade. It is covered in banig the Filipino woven mat.

ECO2 is made of bamboo, seats 8 passengers, and has a stereo with sound system. It also runs on one gallon of biodiesel fuel for 8 hours.

Future Models
Other models in production include another vehicle made of bamboo…including the chassis.

Estimated cost of Eco1 amounts to P200,000.   Not sure how this compares to the steel Sarao…

Other projects by Mayor Balderian include the production of shredders, boilers and bio-reactors for solid waste management (package cost is at P650,000) and livelihood projects that reuse plastic waste into slippers, bags and bricks.

More pictures can be seen on the TOTI Eco website.

Related reading:

Biodiesel Bamboo Cabs: Philippines Town Turns Taxis Green (March 19, 2010)
Small Leyte town assembles bamboo car (Inquirer, Sept. 2009)
The Bamboo Jeep from Bangued, Abra (featured on Lakbay TV before 2006. NOTE: according to the people at Kawayantech, this bamboo jeepney was built by government worker Chris Adriatico in 1992 ):

Bamboo Bikes by Kawayan Tech (Oct 2009).  Video below shows clips of the bamboo bike building workshop by Craig Calfee held in the Yap Farm, San Jose, Tarlac last July 6-11, 2009:


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