Philippine Rabbit

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Philippine Rabbit
PRBL 3505.JPG
Slogan "Our Reliability Rolls On"
Founded August 28, 1946
Headquarters Tarlac City, Philippines
Service area Manila-Northern Luzon, Philippines Flag of the Philippines.svg
Service type Provincial Operation
Fleet 60+ Buses (Nissan Diesel, Hyundai, KIA, Daewoo, Guilin Daewoo, Sunlong, Higer)
Operator Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc.

Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. (PRBL) is a provincial bus company in the Philippines. It was founded in 1946.

The company's area of coverage extends from Metro Manila to northern provinces of Pampanga, Tarlac, and Pangasinan. Its main terminal in Metro Manila is in Avenida Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Alt text
Philippine Rabbit at Tarlac Terminal

Etymology[edit]

Mr. Ricardo L. Paras, the company's general manager, explains that the Company was named Philippine Rabbit in reference to the actual animal because of its speed and agility, not to mention how fast they pro-create. Secondly, the first acquisition of buses by the company then showed that the main body feature of the bus was shaped like the Rabbit. The Company was known then as PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS COMPANY in 1948 until it was incorporated in August 1958 as the PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INCORPORATED or simply PRBL.

History[edit]

Philippine Rabbit was founded on August 28, 1946 with a trip to Divisoria, Manila with a stopover in San Fernando, Pampanga. It was then named Philippine Rabbit Bus Company. In 1952, they acquired front-engined International Harvester buses which operated from Manila to Moncada, Camiling, Victoria, La Paz, Concepcion and Tarlac City. The company was incorporated on August 28, 1957 with the business name Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Incorporated.

Philippine Rabbit was continuously expanding in growth and operation in the 1960s. It has acquired interest in distributing Mitsubishi brand of motor vehicle engines and spare parts in the country. On March 25, 1963, the PRBL incorporators organized the Bupar Motors Corporation as the exclusive distributor of Mitsubishi Fuso engines and spare parts in the country. The Corporation also included a bus body building plant and a tire recapping facility.

Philippine Rabbit was the first to introduce First Class bus accommodations in Western Luzon with the two-seater MAN White Rabbits, and the more innovative Philippine Rabbit Mini-Bus for short distance or local passengers. These PRBL Mini-buses were called the PRBL Mosquito Fleet.

In 1977 PRBL opened its Rabbitours Division in its Caloocan Terminal on 2nd Avenue to handle chartered trips for domestic tours. With the tax incentives the government gives to Tourism oriented companies, PRBL started acquiring air-conditioned buses. In the start of the 1980s, the Company started modernizing its bus fleet with air-conditioned buses servicing the routes to Baguio City, Balanga, Bataan, Laoag, Ilocos Norte, and Tarlac.

In January 1992, PRBL started its bus fleet rehabilitation. They announced the acquisition of 150 brand new air conditioned buses for its 3-year modernization program to meet the demands for safe and convenient travel on air conditioned buses. Twenty Mitsubishi De Luxe (2001 series) were commissioned in 1992; another thirty Nissan Diesel (Aero Bus Series) in 1993; Fifty Nissan Diesel (Flexi Series) in 1994, and another fifty Nissan Diesel (Euro Bus Series 3015) in 1995.

Labor Dispute and Losses[edit]

On April 5, 2004, the company's employees went on strike and demanded for the prompt payment of salaries and benefits, their 13th Month Pay, Retirement benefits, and service incentive pays, including the immediate updating of employees' SSS premium contributions and collected SSS Salary loan deductions. On April 7, 2004, DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas issued a Return-to-Work Order with PRBL Management promising to settle its obligations to the employees. The Company defaulted.

In order to regain losses after the strike, the company had to sell many of its assets, including bus units, franchises, and real properties. Its area of coverage was narrowed, since the company had to give up in favor of other players some of its routes.

PRBL Today[edit]

The company resumed full operations on 2004-2005 fielding its legacy flatforms the NDPC Euro and the newly refurbished 8500s DMMC units (rebodied SR SDX,Flexi and a number of Pilipinas Hino units), together with a handfull of surviving ordinary units. However its trips are now limited as manifested by the closure and eventual sale of their terminal at Balintawak (ROYAL) along EDSA which catered most of its trip to the ilocandia leaving only Avenida as its sole terminal in Metro Manila. During 2005-2009 labor disputes still plagued the management which resulted to additional lost of units in order to pay for their former employees.

It is also during this period that the management tried to supplant its ageing fleet by acquiring surplus korean buses (a mixture of Hyundai, Kia and Daewoo) which pioneered the Silver-Grey Livery 9500s.

Again, PRBL faced another challenge when the LTFRB in 2014, mandated that all PUBs that are 15 years of age shall be phased out imposing heavy penalties for violations. This decision severely affected PRBL's operations since the bulk of its fleet (NDPC Euro 3015-3171), DMMC formerly 2200 series, and PHI are acquired during 1994-1998. This forced the management to phased out its old units and stop its trips to Baguio, Abra, and Alaminos. Trips to Alaminos/Camiling is later resumed in 2015.

Brandnew units started to trickle on 2014 with the arrival of 5 Sunlong Buses 1001-1009 and later the arrival of Higer V90 and V91 and Guilin Daewoo which composed the 1000 series. Refleeting is still on-going and is expected to continue.

Bus Inventory (2016)

2016 PRBL Inventory: (UPDATED 22 AUGUST 2016)

DEL MONTE MOTORS 8521

8541

8533

8555

Sub-total- 4

SR EURO

3501

3505

3507

Sub-total- 3

SR EXFOH

2501

2503

Sub-total- 2


KOREAN UNITS

9501

9503

9505

9507

9509

9511

9515

9517

9519

9521

9523

9525

9527

9529

9531

9533

9535

9537

9539

9543

9545

9547

9555

9559

9561

9563

9565

9567

Sub-total- 28

SUNLONG

1001

1003

1005

1007

1009

Sub-total- 5

HIGER V90/V91

1011

1015

1017

1019

1021

1023

1025

1027

1029

1031

1033

1035

1037

1039

1041

1043

1045

1047

1049

1051

Sub-total- 20

GUILIN DAEWOO

1053

1055

1057

1059

1061

1063

1065

Sub-total- 7

PROJECTED 2ND BATCH GUILIN DAEWOO (not yet operational)

1067

1069

1071

1073

1075

1077

1079

1081

1083

1085

1087

1089

1091

1093

1095

1097

1099

Sub-total-17

TOTAL 86 units

Source: PRBL Facebook Page

Updates

There are news that is circulating that the PRBL will soon resume its operations in Baguio City and in San Fernando City, Pampanga. This is in line with the refleeting of the company which enables it to field more buses on the roads.

Fleet[edit]

Philippine Rabbit currently maintains a fleet of Daewoo, Hyundai, Kia, Sunlong and a handfull of Nissan Diesel and Hino and recently acquired Higer and Guilin Daewoo buses.

Destinations[edit]

Soon to open[edit]