Jeepney “modernisation” (or stopping it) is Filipinos’ top New Year’s resolution

Filipinos are ending the year — and starting a new one (duh!) — debating over a really big issue: jeepneys. What else, right? The jeepney after all is the quintessential Pinoy cultural icon. Why shouldn’t it be? It’s a perverted version of one of America’s greatest engineering achievements. Owing to their world-renowned Reverse Midas Touch syndrome, trust Filipinos to turn that to shit and make it a symbol of their “beloved” nation.

For most other southeast Asian nations, modern and efficient public transport is a foregone conclusion. To them, it is a public right that trumps any held by private motorists. You see it in how far the Philippines’ former peers in the region have come, turning their once teeming cesspool metropolises into the wonders of mass public mobility today. While other countries hold operators of their public transport facilities to the highest quality and safety standards, Filipinos reserve the most decrepit — most dangerous — of the lot to serve the greater majority of their fellow citizens.

Indeed, the biggest argument the Philippines’ traditional “activists” hang on to in defense of the jeepney infestation is that the drivers of these contraptions are “poor”. These parasites argue that these poor “public servants” cannot afford to install essential equipment in their vehicles that would assure the safety of their passengers and contribute to efforts to improve the air quality of their cities. Filipino “activists” are, in short, lobbying to give “the poor” license to be bad citizens.

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Filipinos apply their fantasy-imprisoned minds to their take on a persistent social cancer.
(Source: @CartoonistZACH)

While millions of Filipino commuters suffer on the roads of Metro Manila and many other Philippine cities, “activists” harp about the “livelihoods” of jeepney drivers — as if their collective “plight” is more important than the wellbeing and productivity of the majority. To put things in proper perspective, various sources estimate the the total number of jeepney drivers nationwide at about 200,000. Consider then that the total number of users of public transport in the Philippines exceeds ten million and it becomes easy to see the stupidity in the arguments of these “activists”. Why would they fight for the wellbeing of a community whose numbers are utterly dwarfed by that of parties vastly inconvenienced by this infestation?

Consider too that people who can afford — and therefore opt to use — private vehicles to get about Philippine cities also number in the millions. These are people that “activists” paint as “privileged” but the fact is, private motorists are also victims of the Philippines’ jeepney infestation. They share the road — and the lost time — equally with ordinary Filipino users. All — rich and poor — put up with the bad citizenship jeepney drivers and operators bring to the roads everyday.

Ending the year with a massive “debate” on the continued tolerance of the jeepney infestation proves just how small a country the Philippines is. Despite its enormous population and its accidentally “strategic” role in regional geopolitics Filipinos continue to exhibit their renowned heritage of smallness — a cultural curiosity that continues to hobble what should have been a proud march into the 21st Century.

60 Replies to “Jeepney “modernisation” (or stopping it) is Filipinos’ top New Year’s resolution”

  1. Jeepney is the EMBELLISHMENT of one of America’s greatest engineering achievements. It’s longevity since after WWII–as a working system of public transportation–is phenomenal! The people of Philippines could have waited for Asian neighbors to supply them with sardine-can busses, but since PH’s closest friend in the world (USA) left these high quality vehicles for free, Filipinos did what they do best: improvise!

    As a foreigner journalist in Philippines now one year, I have been reading Mr. Benign commentary and acknowledge you probably don’t care what I think about Pinoy issues. So I mean no offense to suggest the other side of your Jeepney denigration is that the Jeepney Brand deserves to be studied, and opportunities designed to upgrade what is lacking for replacement vehicles to make the fleet of Jeepneys ever-more safe and profitable and environmentally sensitive. This is the most popular means of transportation–until the day when Chinese overlords require all PH vehicles be electric so they can be turned off at a central switch.

    Finally, if feral Jeepneys driving everybody anywhere they need to go at a reasonable cost is the worst thing you can complain about at the end of this first Marcos II year, Mr. Benign, then perhaps you should take a Chinese-made bus to any public market and buy a couple bags of rice at P60/kilo.

  2. The US empire is the Failipine’s “closest friend?!”

    More like another US business lackey-vassal to be used, abused, and thrown away when it does not serve the US regime’s imperialism/colonialism requirements.

  3. What’s causing people to deprive themselves of better technology in order to conform to an economy that only serves a few? I would think that the natural tendency of man is to search for better ways of doing things for his own freedom-so that he has more control over his time and environment.

    1. Economy that only serves a few? The economy is simply a system for distributing limited resources according to political policies.

      The economy doesn’t pick winners and losers.

      Circumstances and choices determine who the economy serves and by how much.

      Why are people entitled to better technology?

      1. See, that’s a problem. Majority of the Failipinos are a liability of the state and cannot even make proper informed choices for themselves. Sadly lad, buying a modernized PUV and being less of a kamote rider is a luxury for them.

        Call jeepneys here a novel idea. But you know what’s not supposed to be a luxury? Changing mindsets for these pricks.

        1. Changing mindsets? You profess to know what is wrong with majority PH thinking and why it must change to YOUR approved thinking?

          The other word for “changing mindset” is “brainwashing.” I have watched how it works in Alaska with a lot fewer people arriving to try and save us from ourselves. It has meant a distinct decline in civilization there.

        2. One way or the other, amigo. Either they vanish or people will keep finding alternatives until jeepneys fade into the background like rolling vintage museums of past.

          Jeepney pa more!

        3. How ling have PH geniuses been predicting end of Jeepney? Do those who depend upon them deserve to have them taken away because they are not modern? Are sardine-can busses where most must stand better?

          It is so easy to decide how others must live when you are not wearing their shoes!

        4. yes, they deserve to have these jeepneys taken away.

          these are not really road worthy vehicles.. there are no safety features

          do they even have insurance?

        5. all decisions must be for the greater good.

          one is free and deserves to make a decent living , but it should never be at the expense or inconvenience of the greater number of people.

  4. The us empire floods the Philippines with an degenerate and debased “culture” filled with hustling, huckstering, buffoons, turkeys, morons, and endless war.
    Onward and downward.

  5. I do agree that the commuting public deserves much better means of public transport that are safer, more environment-friendly, and much more efficient to operate than these outdated, dilapidated units that are poorly built, driven by pesky, insensitive beings with no regards for public safety who don’t even follow basic rules and regulations and who do not keep an open mind that PUV modernization is the answer to all the woes that these commuters deserve! It has been decades when PUV modernization has been implemented–but take note of these delays, as well as the indifference of those pesky ‘draybers’ and those operators who are still mired in their outdated mindsets that breed greater inefficiency. And to see the jeepney as a product of Filipino ingenuity? Not anymore–as times and perceptions have drastically changed! It’s high time to give a new lease of life in also coming up with more updated solutions than in letting these outdated units run, at the risk of public safety and environmental concerns.

    1. Your criticisms are issues to be addressed not reasons to throw out a working system for crappy busses from China!

      I recall in the 1970s when the mayor of Anchorage’s AK decided we needed a “People Mover” bus system. To this day it is a system subsidized by government for people who freeze their asses off and have flexible schedules.

      Cost of living is astronomical in AK and quality of life in steep decline from government boondoggles and unrealistic expectations.

      School Transportation is a major cost of AK government education —also taxed to increase cost of everything.

      My friends you need to recognize you have something that is working and needs attention. In fact the Jeepney system is novel and should be marketed and modernized for all the qualities you seek.

      1. great idea.

        maybe JEEP itself can supply the modern jeepney, nothing like a good ol’ fashion american made automobile.

        maybe uncle sam can even subsidize their commie liberal friends over at piston and manibela , give em 20 year loans at minimal interest rates

        jeep can easily earn a billion dollars in profit.

  6. To be fair, it’s not the vehicle itself per se. It’s really the SYSTEM within which it operates that matters. Whatever the vehicle is, whether minibus, jeepney, or e-jeep, if these don’t form part of an optimally-routed and scheduled service, “modernisation” is useless.

  7. If Jeepneys could not be phased out by these pesky cooperatives (who are no different from the government anyways), the best practical solution would be to have better alternatives. Grab, Angkas, or even damn cycle! Of course, this does not sit well with everyone.

    Just a daily reminder to every reader here that modernizing transportation does not stop only at the vehicles, but also changing the mindset of those who drive.

    1. How do you change people’s mindsets (perhaps including yours) with what you consider as best practical solution, supposedly, the better alternative being the transport network vehicle service (TNVS) companies such as “Grab, Angkas, or even damn cycle”?

      Quite obviously, these ‘better’ alternatives aren’t mass carriers right and would only add to the traffic congestion?

      You see the ironic implication of this in Metro Manila:

      – About 70 percent of the people rely on public transport (carrying more passengers) but they only take up 22 percent of the road space.

      – Only 30 percent rely on private vehicles (normally carrying single-occupant drivers) take up 78 percent of the road space.

      In short, the ‘best practical solution’ is not a solution.

      1. I do not know the answers to these public transportation challenges. I simply come from a place where they are addressed differently and wonder if the problems could be better addressed by looking through a different prism.

        The Jeepney is a unique solution to mass transportation which I happen to think should be improved upon until such time as it is obsolete. If other means can provide transport at a good value then great, but I don’t see evidence of that in Metro Manilla and think it a mistake to impose artificial demise on this system.

        My 2pesos worth, nothing more…

      2. The best practical solution because Failipenises already ingrained that reality, Failipe. Life finds a way and Failipinos are not exempt.

        Just one more lane bro, please PLEEEEAAAASE just one more lane bro. May be things will get better. Haha.

  8. the pronlem of mass transportation has many solutions.

    more roads, clearing obstructions, double deckers, rationalised routes, trains, fewer people, less congestion, better citizens..

    none of these involve the jeepney being on the road.

        1. So juvenile: “One” did not kill all the buffalo in USA.

          Manifest Destiny ended in Alaska, which has nukes pointed at Asia since the Cold War, and Filipino children think ferrel Jeepneys serving poor people is what matters.

          Remember the Alamo!

    1. This is exactly what changing mindsets mean. Or if the language does not suit to those, its called having a better system.

      Sometimes people need to do some context reading, or think outside the box.

      1. By definition “changing mindset” means brainwashing with values deemed superior. Convincing people to not use tobacco products for health reasons is one example. Requiring people who provide functional economic public transportation to abide by a bunch of new government mandates to price them out of the marketplace for Chinese-made busses is another example.

        1. when water closets and sewer systems became mandatory, would you rather we kept shitting in the river

        2. shitting in the river is actually a very functional and economic way to transport your shit, mind you.
          it works.

          a modern water closet ? very expensive in comparison

        3. if only people were not prevented by franchising laws from competing with the jeepney mafiosi, these abominations would have been eased out by market forces a long long time ago.

  9. the jeepney, sad relic of failed american expansionist ambitions in the far east

    stubborn people, minds so whitewashed by captain america and the white jesus, unable to know any better, beating themselves repeatedly with whips and and thorny twigs and feeling holier for it.
    doing the same things, expecting different results.

    its time to put this sick feral dog down.

  10. and of course, the white man

    the white man wants to come here and expects to see trash mountains and novel little crap cars

    the dont really want to see little brown people in a nice modern bus.

    they wont admit it, of course

    1. When arguments don’t work, pull the Race Card! The white person is ALWAYS bad and the brown person ALWAYS a victim.

      Instead of considering solutions for real problems defer to a default racist position.

      You got this, megget!

      1. when you said “crappy little buses from china”..have you seen an actual chinese made bus?

        theyre actually pretty good

        sounds racist right there

        1. You probably haven’t been able to learn the difference between quality American or European tools or consumer goods and crappy Chinese knock-offs as I have. Unfortunately USA has outsourced much of our manufacturing to China and must tolerate inferior quality and workmanship previously unacceptable.

          China is flooding Philippines with inferior products, and you may be certain that USA quality will go to craftsmen who are happy to pay the difference. China also continues to demonstrate to all Asian neighbors it is nobody’s friend —demonstrating that malevolence by creating dependency.

        2. “quality american goods”

          ha ha, a nice little chuckle there to start the day.

          americans though, best damn salesmen in the world,best known for being able to sell refrigerators to eskimos

        3. Don’t expect to see any Chinese Coast Guard boats pissing on vessels of the US Navy!

          They don’t have the range or the guts.

          Belligerent Chinese Communists are best at copying American ingenuity and bullying Asian neighbors who occasionally forget who true champions of freedom are in this world—until the chips are down.

          …which could be soon, while Jeepneys are the distraction of fools.

        4. america, the great god of war, wants to dictate the fate of nations

          good for them.

          now go blow yourselves up and leave us the fukk alone

      1. Being a proud and accomplished White Man, any reference to my immutable trait of whiteness by someone who cannot use proper conventions of capital first letters and punctuation is no big deal.

        Quality of thinking is best demonstrated by quality application of language, you know…

    1. I suppose when someone speak about something and refers to “american”, it doesn’t necessarily mean the whole of the american people in the general. But, that would depend on context of course.

      Though both the american people and its government represent the american state, they’re not one and the same.

      Having said that, the government’s policy of one administration of yesterday does not necessarily also represent the policy of the one who’s in power of today. The prevailing condition, the exigencies of the times, naturally dictates change.

      I believe this concept applies to every country on earth.

      BTW, In case you haven’t notice it yet, even here in PH, there’re are lots of conceited, entitled and confused Fils/Pinoys who refer to their fellows as ‘Failipinos’.

      (Though historically, on the other side of the spectrum, we’re also not unfamiliar to a lot of foreign scumbags visiting our shores.)

      Being true-blooded Pinoys themselves, they seek entitlements of exemptions (culturally as Filipinos) and would rather see themselves as World Citizens.

      Even without reason, they ridiculously identify with the First World with their escapist mentalities…

      And that would include being as Americans. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

      1. I once heard a German remark to a Filipino in class, “You Filipinos have no identity.”

        Maybe Filipinos don’t even have an identity at all, don’t you think?

        1. most tribes have an identity,

          visayans , the lumads of mindanao, ilocanos, ifugaos, maranaos, tausug, etc all have an identity

          now, i dont know about the tagalogs

          there really is no “filipino” as a national identity , only tribes

      2. I am an American who has lived the last 60 winters in ALASKA, which is in the polar climate zone 1000 miles away from continental USA. My perspective is not traditional American and I believe ALASKA has much in common with Philippines. I have written a book you can review on Amazon called :
        Alaska(><) Philippines Connections.

  11. Anglo Saxon’s /wasps have no opinion to the pinoys. Most are imperialist, colonialist us empire scum. War mongers and hyper capitalists. Yet, of course we hear more sinophobia oft repeated by us buffoons who repeat what they hear from the us regime propaganda. Incubator babies….

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