Jul 19, 2017

Motoring developments that are most welcome

Frankly, with current developments in the country, especially in the political scene I have been prone lately to spend more time getting myself updated in international and local sports scenes—less frustrating.

In the past few days however, there have been some developments in the local motoring scene that seem to put some positives in our day-to-day existence.

Let's take this move of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to put up a school—Driver Academy—to educate present and future drivers particularly those of public utility vehicles.

OMG! Finally! Having covered the local motoring scene for more than three decades now, starting in 1987 with the TV show Motoring Today and thru this column, which started in the early 90s, I have heard of similar plans as administration after another took over the reins of government, but nothing however came close to fruition.

For many years now I have been personally involved not only in creating awareness about road safety through our TV show and this column but proactively hands-on as well. Since 2010, Sunshine TV and Socio Com Foundation for Asia have been conducting road safety seminars ( Young Street Smarts Road Safety School Tour) in public and private schools in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces for free. The schools' only involvement is to provide the venue and the attending students.

At the start we only had a handful of friends from the auto industry together with MNTC (Manila North Tollways Corp) helping us with the nightmarish logistical requirements of conducting free road safety seminars. Fortunately at present we have no less than the Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers in the Philippines (CAMPI) helping us continue with the daunting but very satisfying task. Thank God for CAMPI's support we haven't missed a single school year in our educational campaign to make our youth safe and responsible road users of the future. I just hope that help from AVID ( Association of Vehicle Importers and Dealers), another group of major stakeholders in promoting road safety will not be too far behind.

My point in mentioning this is to highlight what we confirmed in the many years that we have been conducting these seminars—the fact that most, if not all of our high school students are generally clueless about traffic rules, traffic sighs, traffic road markings, etc., making them prone to road accidents as the latest statistics would show. Now, what about our present crop of PUV drivers? Most of them, if not all of them never had any kind of background about road safety, traffic rules, etc., when they were at the age of the students that we are teaching them to now—sad if not totally scary. No wonder we have quite a share of road accident statistics.

It has been reported that the Driver Academy shall take in current and aspiring drivers and educate them via classroom instruction and practical tests. PUV drivers will be trained and evaluated in over two sessions a week using four modules that were provided and facilitated by road and safety experts from the country's universities. The training is free and the examinations require a grade of 75% for the drivers to pass, which would merit a certification ID card valid for one year. Those who fail would have to retake the exams.

This is a great quantum leap for the government and to say the least, very laudable. That is, assuming that actual presence of drivers during the training is absolutely required (no non-appearance) and test papers would not be for sale.

Another very welcome development is the move to require all taxis and app-based transport systems (Uber and Grab) to install child safety devices in their vehicles. Way to go! Except that we can almost be sure that the costs of such added requirement would be passed on to the commuters by way of a demand for higher flag-down rates from the operators. I can predict that the DOTr would have its hands full trying to convince taxi and app-based transport system operators to make a little sacrifice of lessened profits in order to ensure children's safety while aboard their vehicles—tough job.

If these developments don't see the light of day, it'll be back to the sports pages for me.

Free Paris vacation from Peugeot

Yes, that headline requires a second look, even a third one if only to make sure you're reading what you're reading.

Take the word of Peugeot Philippines' dapper president,Glen Dasig about a free 3-day,2-night vacation to Paris courtesy of the world-renowned French automobile brand, " We are offering this at no extra cost. When you trade-in your vehicle for a brand-new Peugeot, you are assured of getting that dream vacation to Paris. No other car brand in the Philippines has this on offer for their trade-in customers."

While wearing a custom-tailored, 3-piece suit, Glen, the very prolific father of seven (a devoted one at that) added that the 'Peugeot Drive to Paris' program, which started in June 2017 was initially a one-month program. But the very positive reactions from both prospective and current Peugeot clients gave them no choice but to extend the program up to July 31, 2017.

A few days left for free Paris vacation? I guess it's worth the rush.


Honda Civic Type R now in the Philippines

What's a Type R?

According to Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) for more than two decades now the Type R badge has denoted the highest performance version of its respective model—minimized weight with maximized power, responsiveness, dynamic stability and breaking performance, which aims to deliver the most rewarding driving experience, both on the road and on the race track—the all "souped—up" version.

That means there's a Type R for almost all Honda models, if not all. And as far as the presently top—selling all—new Civic is concerned, its Type R is now available in the country. According to HCPI it will be bringing 100 units of the All—New Civic Type R this year with a Suggested Retail Price of P2,980,000.00 available in two colors:Championship White and Rallye Red.

I know some of you guys have been waiting for this. It now here!

TV streaming on demand

The best of both worlds for all motoring and car enthusiasts with any of these two websites:www.motoringtoday.ph or www.autofocus.com.ph

You can watch the 'streaming' of all the weekly past and present episodes of the TV shows Motoring Today and Auto Focus in their entirety.

Or if you don't have that much time you can just feast on all the latest news items about traffic management and the auto industry or the latest car reviews and head-to-head comparisons of the latest models and other motoring or auto features 'selectively'.

All those motoring and automobile news and features—only a click away.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments & inquiries (email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com


Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network’s AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart’s middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN’s DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70’s, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports’ living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN’s Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable’s Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport’s hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry’s latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star’s business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)