Did you know that many of the Jeepneys you see on the streets in the Philippines are more than 30 years old? There are a lot of safety issues and too much diesel smoke. That is why the Department of Transportation prepared a law that is commonly known as the Jeepney Modernization Program. What is it and what is its impact on Jeepney drivers and operators?
The law is aimed at removing Jeepneys 15 years and older and replacing them with modern vehicles that are more save and utilize modern technology. The law is strongly opposed by Jeepney operators, because it would be too much of a financial burden for them to buy new units. True, the Jeepney modernization program is good to hear, but it also is a financial challenge.
Bringing the Jeepney Modernization Program into reality
Sure every Jeepney driver would be happy to drive a brand new Jeepney, but with very limited income, they will likely not be able to pay for brand new units by themselves. And with already constant complains about the Jeepney fare hike, there is no way to reach a higher income for the drivers by increased passenger fares. To summarize it, whether the drivers nor the passengers are able to finance the Jeepney modernization program.
But let’s step back and get a better overview. Is this really the right approach? Aren’t we once again putting pressure on the people with low income to make changes while the high income class is sitting alone in big SUVs, with modern but completely oversized and gas guzzling engines, while driving in walking speed on congested streets complaining about the traffic.
Let’s keep things fair. What is really causing more air pollution? 20 passengers sitting in one Jeepney with one diesel engine – or 20 drivers, everyone sitting alone in their own car, causing air pollution with 20 separate cars? – Who is causing more traffic congestion? – Who is taking more space on the streets?
True, Jeepneys are sometimes almost empty and cars may be fully occupied. Still, in my humble opinion, it is the unnessesarily operated private cars that should be phased out. Public transport should get more priority and private cars should have more restrictions.
Let`s work together in making public transport more clean and appealing
How will we make everyone use public transport, if most of the Jeepneys are old and run-down? It is undestandable that so many people prefer to use their private car instead of climbing into an old rusty Jeepney. And that is the very reason why I want to make a call to all Filipinos that have the money to support the Jeepney modernization and invest into a brand new Jeepney. There are great installment plans so you don’t have to cash out so much at once and owning a Jeepney means owning a piece of filipino culture!