Let jeepney drivers go on strike — PERMANENTLY

Filipinos once had the opportunity to be weaned off these clunky poor excuses for public transport. But that was several decades ago. That opportunity has passed. Today, Filipinos need to quit jeepneys cold turkey.

It’s time.

Jeepneys are an abomination. They encapsulate everything that is wrong with the Filipino — unsafe, mediocre, rehashed from old American technology, inefficient, and chaotic. This “cultural icon” also goes against every bit of modern aesthetic sensibility with its garish decoration and assault-on-the-senses overall looks.

Those who defend the jeepneys yet again appeal to “compassion” by playing the usual victimhood card of those who depend on it for a living. The irony sailing above the pointed heads of these emotional blackmailers is that this is the very reason jeepneys — and the overall squatter mentality that infests the collective psyche of the Filipino — persists. The tyranny of the impoverished — all of them voters (wink, wink) — is what is holding back the Philippines. Poor people are the last bunch one would depend upon to determine a nation’s strategic direction. After all, they cannot see beyond their next meal or next boundary payment. So to allow the “plight” of these jeepney drivers to infuence the strategic direction of public transport management is foolish to say the least.

The other argument, physically upgrading the vehicles itself — making them more “environmentally friendly”, modernising their appearance, and developing modern manufacturing techniques for them — utterly misses the point by a mile. Both the vehicles and the system need to be junked. Systems that make use of better-structured routing frameworks, bigger capacity vehicles, and ones that are more centrally-controlled and scheduled are what characterise modern public transport systems. Merely tinkering on the fringes of jeepneys and the chaotic system they form will not deliver the big-step change Metro Manila needs to move forward.

There is a way forward — the hard way. There will be losers and winners in any initiative to change things on a broad scale and at fundamental levels. The winners will go on to contribute to the aspired greatness of the Philippines. The losers will likely present a persistent burden to that effort.

Which of the two would you like to be a part of?

Filipinos need to make a choice — continue to be held back by an unhealthy, even destructive, relationship with the self-described “victims” of their society (and the self-appointed “champions” of these “victims”), or turn away, look forward, and spread their wings. It’s time Filipinos’ cut that festering cultural umbilical chord that keeps them attached to that old relic of American colonial rule.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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17 Comments on "Let jeepney drivers go on strike — PERMANENTLY"

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what will happen to millions of jeepey drivers who cannot afford to buy the new e-jeepney? true, the jeepneys have become a menace, especially with undisciplined drivers. but how about their livelihood, their families?

Random Comment
The old jeepney drivers should be encouraged to use the new e-jeepneys. Most of them should not be left unemployed after the shift. It is just that their vehicles are going to be improved. I’m not sure how they would handle operators though. Ideally, the shift should be subsidized by the government themselves, a sort of investment that allows them to do what they need to do. After all, the government are the ones who wanted the drastic shift. So they should be prepared for the costs. Sadly, this might bump the transport fare a bit, but hopefully it’s for… Read more »

So everyone else has to suffer because a few thousand people (it isn’t millions) want to remain poor for the rest of their lives?

As benign0 said, that’s the Philippines through and through. Endless arguments which amount to “won’t someone pleeease think of the children” keeps the country stuck in the dark ages.

They will, obviously, have to find other employment. It would be reasonable for the government to help them do this. But a bit of transient hardship for a few will make life better for millions – and ultimately for the jeepney drivers too.

Walter P. Komarnicki

aren’t there electric jeepneys in Makati and electric buses in Cebu?
why is there such a compelling need to have these blackbelching antedeluvian clunkers poisoning our air?

It’s especially sad to see these ugly clunkers idling at the mercado while women and children are trying to do their shopping and having to breathe all those poisonous fumes?

just from a purely health point of view, those jeepneys should have been junked decades ago!

but if you must have them, then why not modernize them with aircon and catalytic converters to make sure they don’t poison the atmosphere?

@patrizia I’ll answer to your question. The ultimate solutions to this problem are: (1) our government should allow foreign owned companies to invest here for a mass public transportation businesses [e.g. trains, buses, boats, etc.] & let those poor jeepney drivers in our country to work & train there to provide their livelihood, and if the “former” jeepney drivers want to have their families to work to those companies, then they should to provide their earnings & the future of their family, just give them a proper benefits & training to become a better & well disciplined Filipino public transportation… Read more »

True. Jeepneys are a very inefficient way of mass transportation and should be gradually phased out of existence. One way to phase them out is to introduce more and more efficient methods of transportation like buses and subways that will discourage people to use Jeeneys. For the sake of their families, this generation of Jeepneys should be allowed to operate but that is where it stops. Successors should not be given a license to operate so when this generation of jeepney drivers retire their children will have no choice but to choose another line of work.

Dick S. O'Rosary
Wee have to look at the costs and benefits as well. What is the benefit of helping a few thousand families who derive their income from this archaic mode of transportation, versus the cost of traffic, delays, accidents and deaths? I would say that the benefits to the many would outweigh the cost to the few. And if this archaic transport system exists to pander to these few, then it shouldn’t be so hard to prioritize job creation for them. Government, could, for example hire jeepney drivers and barkers as patrolmen to guard the streets and increase the presence of… Read more »

if the government can give 15 thousand on pantawid pamilya programs with basically nothing in return, then why cant they offer to buy these jeepneys, say 60 to 80 thousand each. im sure a lot will bite on the offer especially the non-operators. The smart owners will use the money to start another livelihood or as downpayment for future uber vehicles, while the dumb ones will buy an iphone. either way, it reduces the problem.


Always attack. Even in defense, attack. The attacking arm possesses the initiative and thus commands the action. To attack makes men brave; to defend makes them timorous.

Our civilization has progressed, from the internal combustion engine (carburetor type) to the fuel injection engine to electric motor and to possible hydrogen motor… New system of diagnosing car engine trouble is now thru :electronic system. It is the new technology, and we must use them, if we want our country to improve ! The Philippine transport system rely on , the old carburetor type engine of World War II jeeps, abandoned by the liberating American forces. Most of us, were not born yet, when these Philippine Jeepneys became popular. The bodies are new, but the engines are old and… Read more »
During the last century, the great inventor, Thomas Edison invented the incandescent lamp (the light bulb)… it was powered by direct current of electricity. It was an efficient way of lighting the night. Then, the great inventor, Nicolai Tesla, invented the alternating current of electricity. It made the light bulb, more efficient. What would had happened, if candle makers or gas lamp makers, incited a strike, against these new inventions ? Because their way of earning a living are affected. Making candles and gas lamps, dropped in their demands… We would be all using candles and gas lamps, by now… Read more »

Those who are against new technologies are Pulling us Down towards better way to live !


You have a very good point, but then I do think you’ve missed the whole culture thing…
Why do you think the thai’s have a better transport system even if they have the tuktuks and habalhabals? It is better if puv’s will be regulated and more disciplined in rules and regulations. But not the phase out. I’m a mere commuter. But i’d rather ride a jeepney than our bus systems. Try fixing the rail and bus systems first… Maybe things will look up better for the philippines.


I say move the jeepneys outside of metro manila, nationalize the bus system develop terminals ala the P2P bus service with regular schedules and develop more train systems.

The irony is they conducted a strike which improved the traffic situation and people still managed to get to work. btw, im a commuter as well.

I understand the fear of the unknown and how disadvantageous the e-jeepneys seem. The least the government can do is to subsidize the cost of new jeeps. However, I believe that the government should start taking over the jeepney sector. If operators cannot provide the services we deserve, the government should pick up the slack. Just last week I rode a new bus to Pacita, Laguna from Ayala, Makati. It’s similar to BGC Buses, and it could only handle about 70% capacity of standard buses. However, the experience was great. It had comfortable seats, a speed limiter, CCTVs. a dashcam,… Read more »
In a statement, the LTFRB reminded PUV operators of its “no-strike policy” as stated in the Memorandum Circular No. 2011-004. “The PUV operator shall not resort to cessation of service as a sign of demonstration or protest versus any government decision or action,” read part of the order’s provision. Link Link This is a clear violation of the “No-Strike Policy” The government should enforce suspension and cancell there authority to operate these PUVs. The Jeepney operators and franschise owners should allow the government to do what they plan. That is to clean up the air and make a better future.… Read more »

You are on point,sir.. one more thing,the jeepney is not even engineered, that’s why endless modifications are made that do away with standard safety features (standard sized brake lights, standard length, working headlights,etc.)