Jeepneys remain a stark symbol of the Philippines’ utter failure to prosper

Coming up with a great product — an innovative one even — is just 20 percent of the job. You also need to develop systems to produce it and market it. That system is also known as the business enterprise.

An example of a failure to complete the remaining 80 percent of the job is the jeepney. The jeepney emerged from the ashes of war in the mid-1940s — morphed from GI surplus jeeps to become that “ingenious” weapon of mass transit that remain to this day the Filipino’s preferred mode of public transport and symbol of that post-war ingenuity.

Marston Mats used for temporary airstrips in Wold War II

Marston Mats used for temporary airstrips in Wold War II

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For that matter, lots of other junk left behind by the Americans were “ingeniously” used by Filipinos. A less-trumpeted but just as ubiquitous GI relic was the large number of steel Marston mats used primarily for the rapid construction of temporary runways and landing strips in World War II. Marston mats are steel strips perforated with circular holes and slightly corrugated for rigidity along its length. When laid on the ground side-by-side, they were strong enough to be used even for roads by land vehicles.

I recall growing up in the 1970s and still seeing lots of Marston mats being used mainly for fencing. More importantly, they were also being used as building material for — you guessed it — squatter shanties. Like the Willys Jeeps, the Marston mats found a use in the Philippines. Innovation? Arguably. Filipino ingenuity? Definitely.

With the jeepney, however, the Philippines had in its hands a huge headstart to what could have been a world-class automotive industry. Compare this to Kia, the Korean company that would go on to become one of the planet’s biggest automobile manufacturers. Back in 1944, Kia was a small company making steel tubing and bicycle parts. But while the jeepney, stayed the same for the 60 years following that headstart in both design and manufacturing technology, Kia was making motorcycles by 1957, trucks by 1962, and cars by 1974.

Today Kia is giving US, European and Japanese car makers a run for their money. Over 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced in its 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has over 42,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$14.6 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan is “The Power to Surprise”.

Since 2005, Kia Motors has singled out design as its “core future growth engine”.

Consider the two catchprases that describe the key success factors contributing to the phenomenal success of Kia:

(1) “The Power to Surprise”; and,

(2) Design as the company’s “core future growth engine”.

Simple but powerful, and everything the jeepney is not. Jeepney manufacturing has utterly failed to surprise over the last 60 years. It consistently disappointed. The growth in the manufacture of jeepneys was not driven by design. It was driven by desperation.

The Philippines' King of the Road

The Philippines’ King of the Road

The jeepney today symbolises everything that is wrong with the Philippines. A stark monument to a monumental opportunity that was squandered. The jeepney, instead, became a vast social and economic cancer. Baked into its industrial history is just about every aspect of the Filipino character that led to failure — a lack of originality, a bankruptcy of imagination, and a renowned heritage of smallness.

Many jeepney apologists would rather laud the continued “ingenuity” with which Filipinos heroically churn out these pieces of automotive junk with the limited resources at their disposal. That sort of thinking, sadly, merely highlights the root of the problem that hobbles Philippine industry. Resources were never an issue — not in an island nation “blessed” with vast mineral and agricultural resources and situated right smack in the middle of a strategically important shipping corridor. At the heart of the matter is Filipinos’ consistent inability to turn quantity into both scale and quality. The “ingenuity” of the jeepney of the 1940s has long been buried under a mountain of failure to develop a world-class business enterprise around it.

Indeed, this intellectual disability that infects Filipino business is evident across industries and time. Ambeth Ocampo described this inherent Filipino affliction in an Inquirer article he wrote in September 2005 after a visit to the marble-producing Philippine island of Romblon.

Of this island’s craftsmen, he wrote:

What did the people in this sleepy town do with their marble? They made them into tombstones, mortar and pestle. As a tourist, I asked myself: How many “lapida” [tomb markers] and “dikdikan” [pestle] do I want? How many lapida and dikdikan do I need? Come to think of it, how many lapida and dikdikan do they sell in a year? Here is a region that has skilled manpower and an almost inexhaustible natural resource, but their products are unimaginative. If culture comes in to introduce new designs and new uses of Romblon marble, that would go a long way in developing the industry and the province.

Indeed, one can draw similar analogies in the Filipino entrepreneur’s penchant for following a “me too” approach to getting into business. There is an almost lemminglike behaviour in the way Filipino entrepreneurs get on a business model bandwagon. This behaviour accounts for the lechon manok (roast chicken) and shawarma (Mediterranean wrap) booms in the 80’s and 90’s. The proliferation of jeepneys and tricycles also illustrates how such safe but low-returning (and, in the long run, unsustainable) ventures are among the favourites of individuals with a bit of capital to apply.

Hardly surprising then that the Philippines today remains the beggared state that it is — pathetically reliant on the remittances of its overseas workforce and the “generosity” of old colonial masters. There is no internal economic engine of consequence to drive national prosperity — only an internal sweatshop that produces the millions of warm bodies to drive its jeepneys while relentlessly crushing any hope for a brighter future.

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the Wikipedia.org articles “Marsden Matting” and “Kia Motors” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]

41 Replies to “Jeepneys remain a stark symbol of the Philippines’ utter failure to prosper”

  1. Ahhh….the flippines, once known as the pearl of the orient in what seems to be a bygone era. Today, it is a nation of losers who have lost their money but not their pride.

  2. When you think about it, not a single big company in the Phils truly became successful because of innovation. SM, Jolibee, PLDT, ABS-CBN, etc. just follow a traditional business model. Now the question is, is it because of education, is UP not a good institution? are filipinos just naturally not innovative?

    1. You have to remember most of the giants in the corporate world did not become giants because they innovate and create new products.
      They simply saw an opportunity and seized it and milk it for profits
      Microsoft was built that way
      Remember what’s a palm top?
      Look at how apple sells iPhones. Same products but more popular in a different shell with better marketing.

      Even the news of jollibee doing well in Singapore. And how they did poorly the first time. Was there innovation and changes that allowed them to do well this time?
      Not really, only market changes with a huge influx of Filipino workers missing taste of hometown food.
      Should they expand from their current location and dilute their market share they’ll end up like all others. Closing down after the lease is up

      1. I disagree, Apple created an ecosystem for it’s products (itunes, app store). That is innovation. The way Microsoft made windows an essential part of every pc is innovation. Companies like Samsung, IBM, Ford, GE create new products, even Goldman and Sachs invent investment products. You can discredit them all you want but that doesn’t change the facts.

      2. Innovation need not necessarily be limited to the product itself. Innovation could be in a business model or business system; e.g., new innovative ways of selling an old product. iTunes for example was a new distribution and marketing model for music. Google went from being revenue-less to the planet’s most powerful corporation all by giving away free stuff. That’s business model innovation.

        Look no further than bottled water — the biggest scam in history, but it’s a multi-billion dollar business. The product is not only as old as the planet it’s as free as air. Innovative marketing (and, in the case of the Philippines, the same desperate demand that propped up the jeepney business) definitely at work there.

        Clothing is another. I mean, how many different ways can one sell clothes, or burgers, or fried chicken, or pancit, or barbecue. Apparently an infinite number of ways — for stuff that fundamentally hasn’t change much over history and does not vary significantly from one brand, distribution chain, or store to another.

    2. Unfortunately, UP might be part of the problem… but through no fault of its own.

      It’s the same concern in countries like the UK and Australia concerning Grammar Schools: by taking the very best students away from other areas and concentrating them into grammar schools, it has a tendency to “dumb down” all of the other schools. There’s an argument that the brilliant students should not be concentrated in just one school (ala Hogwarts) and be distributed in the area and there have been studies since the 1970’s to show that by removing grammar schools, the overall performance and polish of people actually rose.

      It’s a big complex issue and I recommend to Google it for more information—I’m not particularly well informed about it myself except the relationship with progress was made.

  3. As I have said a number of times before, there is nothing ingenious with putting heaps of steel sheets on an Isuzu (or other) underpinnings. That is what the jeepney is. I might even give more credit to the guy who put a humvee look alike on a nissan safari underpinnings.

    I have been from the automotive industry a long time ago, one thing that I can conclude is that we are capable of making our own shot at a 100% filipino car logo. Not just those rebadged, remanufactured pile of nuts and bolts, but a real filipino manufactured automobile. The question is why aren’t we producing any then? The answer seems to be, that it is not just worth it for an entrepreneur to go through all the costs and lengths of putting up his own little car name, getting milked by the government at every turn and opportunity and still end up with a final product cost which could not compete in the market with the entry level toyota. The country just does not make it worth the cost and the effort.

    Government should step-in, unless it is by their solemn pledge to their family name to perpetuate the stench that is the rotting of the real filipino pride and none of the real service to the filipino people.

    1. I completely agree. The problem is not really a lack of ingenuity. There are, I’m sure, plenty of smart Filipinos who are capable of designing modern vehicles – but why bother? Any business that puts its head above the parapet will be pounced on by the BIR and destroyed. Without connections and grease, you have no way of getting the myriad licenses and rubber stamps required for getting a vehicle onto the road.

      By being deliberately useless, jeepneys and their operators can stay under the radar. They cannot be milked for taxes and bribes because they are quite obviously unprofitable – a huge money sink that produces nothing except pollution.

      Government will not “step in” because they are not smart enough to understand that a well-functioning economy will put more wealth into their own pockets than a corrupt, inefficient one.

  4. Thanks for this article. Another Filipino weak point identified.

    Most Filipinos are plain sentimental. They don’t want to depart from historical conventions. Our dear ‘jeepney’ could have traveled through air by this time or could have been a vintage ride worth million a single piece if people does not limit it to what it is in the beginning. Change is natural. To go against it is, yes, an “utter failure to prosper”.

    1. We can also probably add that the crab mentality that Filipinos like to throw around (and misuse) manifests itself worst in the rare times when a Filipino does have a never-before seen or done idea. His/her fellow Filipinos complain about how “walang pakikisama” that person is. They label him/her “ambisyoso“, and insist that his/her idea is not going to work, ah basta! They make him/her feel bad about how they perceived that he/she makes them look bad. They make him/her utterly self-conscious about how “mapapahiya siya” if it fails. They will spread vile, and most likely untrue, rumors about him/her. They will use all their connections to make sure that the funding and support needed for that someone’s idea get shot down before they even start. All because of some silly notion of equality enshrined in that “pakikisama” bullshit, what appears to be envy “inggit, and some perceived sense of “napahiya ako“.

      Of course, this is different from analyzing and criticizing an idea based on its merits. Unfortunately, because Filipinos take criticism personally, and are unappreciative of critical analysis, crab mentality and criticism are often confused for each other here.

      I’ve harbored a thought for a long time that the type of equality/equity that Filipinos want/espouse is not equal opportunity or equal betterment for the community at large; it is, in actuality, equal misery.

      1. Wehehe Filipinos are insecure bunch. Charge that to lack of education that sustains the lack of confidence to pursue fresh ideas and have conviction to follow their dreams or fight for what they believe in. Wonder why the government has deficient budget for higher education?

        I would say the “crab mentality” of the “ambisyoso” and inggiterong frogs has no effect to people who knows and are willing to work hard, blood, sweat and migraines. But I wouldn’t blame those who would choose the easy way out or safe course because it’s not like they won’t get what they deserve in the end. Failures and mistakes help people to learn sometimes. So expect a tsunami or flash floods or a destructive typhoon one of these days to wipe out our inhibitions to make the best decision for ourselves.

  5. How do we a nurture a culture for us to be innovative?

    Are we less ambitious compared with other countries?

    Rich resources. Low common sense. Poor imagination. Lack of planning.
    Lousy execution. Welcome to the Philippines.

  6. “This behaviour accounts for the lechon manok (roast chicken) and shawarma (Mediterranean wrap) booms in the 80’s and 90’s. The proliferation of jeepneys and tricycles also illustrates how such safe but low-returning (and, in the long run, unsustainable) ventures are among the favourites of individuals with a bit of capital to apply.”

    And yet this preference for “safe” and “small” does not stop many Filipinos from getting duped into Ponzi schemes–where high rates of return are promised but never materialize and who invest simply on the strength of the word of the one who recruited them or his associates. Sometimes Filipinos are driven by desperation and sometimes by greed.

      1. Ah yes, looking at it that way, then the jeepney, the shawarma stand, lechon manok and the ponzi scheme are in fact behaviors which are entirely consistent with the Filipino approach to enterprise. 🙂

  7. Loud, undisciplined, dirty, un-kept, uneconomical, dilapidated, backwards, unsafe, vulgar, polluting, outdated, tawdry, ostentatious, illegal…..

    All terms to describe a Jeepney…..or Filipinos.

  8. ‘King of the Road’ in the Philippines…these ‘things’ are the biggest pieces of shit on the road anywhere…bar none! Spewing a cloud of smoke as far as the eye can see.an the country has emmissions testing centers, so why are they still on the road? ANYONE?

    Because themmissions inspectors are corrupt….
    THE PHILIPPINES is a corrupt society, from top to bottom.It is the only way anyone can prosper.or avoid starving actually.

  9. We should get rid of these moving metal coffins, they belong in museums not our roads. They offer no safety to anyone, drivers are unregulated often uneducated.

    They push these machines to its absolute limit day in and day out, uses “Used oil” for their regular oil change that they get from local repair shops for free.

    They Will repair parts that need replacing and will continue to do so until the wheels falls off quite literally.

    Jeepneys are cancer of the transport sector, its amazing how the govt fail to see these things that just show you how they really care about change.

  10. … and for the first time, a jeepney article I wholly (and sadly) agree with (but would benign0 ride a jeepney made by Sarao Worldwide, a publicly-traded corporation with representation on stock exchanges the world over? that might amuse). For all our supposed “ingenuity”, we’ve never had a mass culture that nourished innovation, isn’t it? Just coming after scraps, seeking borrowed glory on borrowed time with other people’s aspirations and achievements while we waste all our resources away to meet the shortest of short-term goals (if that).

    It’s sad, real sad. Of all the vices that pin us down as a society, of all those vices that prevent us from moving forward and finally defining ourselves with all glee and positivity who the fuck we are in the community of nations, this one is the heaviest, for this one — essentially a lack of inquisitiveness — will prevent us as a people from seeing beyond the pecuniary.

    So, so sad.

  11. Some governments identify those products that are necessary to the welfare of their people and subsidize the businesses that provide those things, until they get off the ground. Why are we importing cheap motorcycles with 2 cycle internal combustion engines from other countries instead of promoting the electric vehicles that are being made in the Philippines? The Chinese developed a type of trash recycler that is able to produce building materials. Why isn’t there one of those in every municipality? The two innovations above could create jobs and address the pollution problems that plague our country. The wealthy and powerful do not want progress because they are making tons of money just the way things are now.

  12. It is sad that the World War II relics, left by the American liberating forces; is still the mode of transport.

    Car or automotive industries can employ, many people…because, there are thousand parts in an automotive vehicle. You need designers; production people; quality control people; sales and marketing people, etc…Michigan grew up from the automotive industry. The sales revenue of General Motors Corporation, alone, is equivalent to the Gross Domestic Products of the Philippines…

    With the brains of our country drained by other foreign countries. Because , their country do not need them…we will remain stagnant; even to the next century.

    Innovation is the key here…there are not enough innovative and resourceful souls…and the leaders do not care…as long as they have Pork Barrels…

  13. The author has a point: there are many aspects of the jeepney that reflects the business mentality of Filipinos. It’s the mentality of “The nail that stands out will be hammered down” and maintaining the status quo, it’s what halts or stifles innovation. It’s because thinking outside-the-box is discouraged. But, it’s OK to take something foreign and doll it up and add to it. I so far haven’t heard of anyone making one “green”. I haven’t seen a restyle of the vehicle. The damn thing looks like it has since WWII no matter how much paint or doo-dads you put on it, it’s still a mobile corpse with makeup.

  14. The Jeepney has become the symbol of what many of us are today–impractically sentimental, not willing to change, and almost always ‘kapit sa patalim’. It’s also now unsafe. Sometimes ingenuity cannot serve you for long, and I think the Philippine Jeepney now deserves retirement and a place at the.National Museum. Meanwhile, we really should make way for better and safer, as well as affordable means of public transportation. Also the tricycle as we know it should also make its disappearance as well.

  15. Up to this time the Philippines lags in automotive industrialization. during the 70’s I saw automotive Utility Vehicles produced in this country. Most of the Utility Vehicles had foreign made engines with bodies manufactured locally. Innovation to introduce better UV’s never became a reality due to lack of investments. It is a pity that we have to rely on foreign makes assembled here and imports. As usual the past government administrations failed in this aspect. Abnoy never did anything about this.

    1. Way back we had the Cimmaron (Mitsubishi), the Fiera (Ford), Tamaraw (Toyota) and the Sakbayan (VW). They all dissappeared decades ago. It could have been a great start towards the Philippines being an automotive greatness, maybe even more than Kias and Daewoos and even Hyundais. Maybe even more than just automotive but a full pledged industrial giant too. But look what happens when leaders with no vision (for the country) take over. I still point to that event, yes, THAT 1986 event. And to even thank the high heavens for the “freedom” it brought with through it. Yeah, right.

      Food for thought, 1970, the Toyota Tamaraw FF, originally from the Philippines, is first in SE asia, then marketed in Indonesia as the Kijang. This is the ancestor of the Innova. Now where are we now if we remained focused on this industry…. sayang….

      Almost at the same time, the Ford Fiera was conceived, here on our shores, by Ford. Sadly, it was never like the success of the tamaraw FF.

      These two major competitors of the WW2 jeepney, during the 1970s, only shows that the filipino can, with the right environment. It seems we do not have the right environment now, huh?

      BTW, you can still see mutations of the Ford Fiera nowadays, albeit following the recipe of the jeepney, backyard shops slapping metal sheets together on top of a japanese chassis, engine and drivetrain…never industrialized, never thinking big, puede na ‘yan.

      The hard truth is that the makes/models I sited above could have been pillars for our country’s industrialization.

      What happened?

      1. In a word, Filipinos are snobs.

        A homegrown industry can’t gain traction if the local market doesn’t support the product from the outset. Most Filipinos opt to purchase foreign vehicles as much for the prestige as for their reliability.

        Then there is the fact that the quality of those vehicles you cited left a lot to be desired. Especially for a public that was looking for an automobile that could be used for comfortable city driving, not a bare bones utility vehicle. And, of course, one that could compare to American, European and Japanese cars.

        South Korea followed the same path as the Philippine car industry at its inception. The first local vehicles they produced were modified military surplus and junked Willys Jeeps. During the 1960s and early 1970s, they moved into assembly and subcontracting for parts manufacturing.

        By 1975, Hyundai would introduce the Pony, South Korea’s first mass-produced car. This was a proper passenger car, not the low end, affordable ‘Asian Utility Vehicle’ the Philippines focused on. The Pony was a 1.2 L four door hatchback developed by a team of British engineers with diverse experience from the Land Rover to Jaguar to Ford.

        In 1976, Hyundai began exporting the Pony to Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Egypt. This would last until 1988. By 1978 it would become the first Korean car to be sold in Europe. In 1982, they started selling in the United Kingdom. The Pony was also sold in Belgium, the Netherlands, and later exported to Greece.

        The key difference is that South Korean strategists aimed for an export oriented business model, designed to compete with already established global brands. The Philippine automobile industry, on the other hand, focused on serving an insular niche market. Thinking small and parochial doesn’t elevate you to the position of the world’s fourth largest car manufacturer like Hyundai.

      2. They used to build Camaros here!

        Following World War II, Yutivo Corporation became the franchised assembler and distributor for General Motors in the Philippines. Assembly operations began in 1953 at a factory located in Penafrancia Extension, Paco, Manila. Yutivo assembled both cars and trucks and had a total production capacity of 18 trucks and 15 cars per day (2 shifts). The Yutivo operation stayed in the Yutivo family until 1976, when the facility was leased (and then sold) to GM and the Yutivo family left the day-to-day operations.
        GM later moth-balled the factory, and eventually sold the facility to Isuzu Motors in 1994.

        Yutivo Corporation car lines, at one time or another, included:

        Chevrolet: Bel-Air 4Dr, Impala 4Dr, Malibu 2Dr/4Dr, Camaro

        Buick: Electra 225 and Pontiac Parisienne 4 Dr. (Canadian version
        of the Pontiac Bonneville)

        Vauxhall: (GM UK) Victor, VX4/90, Viva 2Dr/4Dr

        Opel: (GM Germany) Rekord 2Dr/4Dr, Rekord Wagon 5Dr, Ascona 4Dr, Manta 2Dr, Kadett 2Dr/4Dr

        Holden: (GM Australia) Model EH-4Dr, Wagon 5Dr, Premier 4Dr

        Truck lines covered the full range of Chevrolet and Bedford trucks (pick-ups, chassis-cab, chassis-cowl, school bus and tractor models).

        http://www.camaros.org/yutivo.shtml

  16. “YO, why don’t you take that piece of shit to the junk-yard?”. Is a phrase often heard when a car breaks down in city streets the world over, but only once in a while.
    In the Fail-ippines its something that could literally be heard non-stop,24/7, as that is all there is on the streets:Clunking jalopy ass pieces of shit!

  17. here in CDO the last few days I have seen 2 jeepneys running red lights, one of them hitting a motorcyclist who was carrying a baby, but nobody was hurt, and the driver did not flee. I used to think jeepneys were quaint when I used to live in Australia – where the only jeepney I ever saw was mounted on blocks in front of the Philippine Embassy in Canberra – but living here I always wear a facemask to keep the noxious fumes out, and avoid using them when I can, as they are usually overcrowded (but always room on the roof).
    I have seen better aerodynamic jeepneys in Bacolod, and I hear there are even electric jeepneys in Makati, but here in CDO we seem to like things just the way they are, except for a few traffic lights and CCTV cameras.

  18. While I do agree that the concept and practicality of the jeep have long past its prime, completely shelving them out would pose a bigger dent on the government’s cost (face it, they’re literally stuck with this problem because of all the all you can steal plundering going about.). A more feasible workaround is to limit these vehicles around low-traffic, low-density areas while maintaining regulations to keep these jeepneys smog-free. Say, touristy areas where travelers can still revel on a living relic while not intoxicating commuters en masse. Again, this is more of a stop-gap measure and I would more than happy to have these be put for scrap or in a museum, but with the infrastructure and government the way it is now, the entire process would just be too painful and costly for what it’s worth.

    I also pondered on the wasted potential of the local automobile industry in the Philippines. As already mentioned, it seems to be a mix of a lack of foresight and savviness. The innovation is there, it’s just that the business people there plain suck at marketing their products. Like, instead of catering to a wider customer base and modifying to appeal to their tastes, they just stuck to going local under the pretense of “authenticity.” As a result, you end up with something that doesn’t really click with everyone besides the locals and enthusiasts. I’m not saying this type of business method is inherently bad, but the PI just cannot afford to embrace it at the moment. I say go back to it when you’ve got your feet on the ground and you’re not in the red.

  19. The 40-60 foreign ownership of a business is another blocking stone in the development of the Philippines. There are many Filipinos with good or even great innovations this combined with foreign expertise in production and marketing would definitely prosper. But most investors shy away if they have no control over their investments, The 40-60 ownership is also a reason for a few to protect their own interest to keep (mainly foreign) competitors away. However a basic rule in economic is that free competition creates progress and quality.

  20. I hear a lot of negative comments but are you in a position and intelligent enough to say those things?

    300+years slavery from Spain…America…Japanese…etc.
    Do you know what it means to become a Filipino? Do you know the meaning of HOPE?

    1. Keep your sorry excuses to yourself. You are a prime example of the A-typical Filipino pointing fingers at someone else. And when did America enslave Filipinos? They gave this country the very best education system in Asia. The Philippines was No.1 in Asia after WWII. They gave you independence. What did Filipinos make out of that? NOTHING! So shut up dumbass!

  21. theres a lot of reasons why we our country didn’t industrialised.. first there’s government bureaucracy. there’s was once a growing steel industry back in the 1950s(Think Puyat and Ysmael),and the steel industrialists wanted to further the trend with making their own small cars (actually building under license from a certain British car company). the government under US Influence with GM and Ford at that time, didn’t permitted them. We still imported and assembled big American cars until the oil crisis hit in the 70s.

    second reason could be the “brain drain”. lots of good and smart filipinos left and died during WWII and during Martial Law. Marcos nationalized most industries and handed these to his cronies. The cronies which are friends and relatives of Marcos who are not technically smart in managing the industry.

    third reason could be Marcos. While the martial law era brought economic growth, by the late 70s, the economy was beginning to falter due to the political climate at the time. They were bombings, communist and Muslim insurgencies, and the government bureaucracy. Though Marcos was pro-US, many foreign companies find it hard to conduct business in the country. In the automobile industry 1980s, Honda wanted to assemble & sell cars here, however Marcos refused because his US friends had their Chrysler, GM and Ford, and his crony Silverio had Toyota. Marcos had also failed maintaining PNR, instead focusing on building highways (his San Juanico bridge is advanced but economically not much important). This led to more expensive fuel prices because of the emphasis on building for cars and trucks.

    fourth reason is present-day corruption. After the downfall of Marcos, capitalists were taking advantage of the relaxing of regulations and “Free economy”. After PNOC, foreign oil companies made money with the rise of oil prices. Electricity was privatised courtesy of IPPs (independent power plants). The idea was that with more IPPs providing power, that it will decrease prices. Due to private corporate greed and political machination, the opposite happened. Government and capitalists worked together making plans so that high costs of infrastructure, resources and labor was shouldered to the consumer. Etc., etc., etc.!!!

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