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Jeepneys: Decadence on the road

"Old jeepneys, according to Malacañang Palace, may never be allowed to operate again."

The jeepney as a mode of mass transportation has lost its iconic status and is now a symbol of road decadence that politicians have perpetuated.

The current rickety make of most of these jeepneys and their unsafe features have led to accidents on the roads, with their undisciplined drivers mainly responsible for the mishaps. A post-World War II creation, the jeepney equipped with reconditioned engines plied major roads in Metro Manila and the provinces, and was the most popular form of mass transportation. Its inefficient consumption of fuel and road unworthiness, however, will send it to oblivion as the nation modernizes the mass transportation system.

The government has recognized that the age of jeepneys is coming to an end to give way to a modern form of transportation—one that is fuel-efficient and environment-friendly, and operating on economies-of-scale.

Old jeepneys, according to Malacañang Palace, may never be allowed to operate again amid the general community quarantine in Metro Manila. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board is now conducting an assessment to determine if Metro Manila would have enough transportation with the planned phaseout of traditional jeepneys.

The government is introducing “modern jeepneys,” or basically mini-buses, to push the delayed  Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program of the state. The program essentially aims to phase out jeepneys, buses and other public utility vehicles that are at least 15 years old and replacing them with safe and more comfortable alternatives over the next three years.

The jeepney phaseout is timely. It gives regulators the chance to change the current franchising system, revise and introduce new routes and provide training to about 50,000 jeepney drivers in the face of a modernizing metropolis.

Traditional jeepney operators, meanwhile, should form cooperatives and consortiums to enable them to acquire at least 10 of the modern jeepneys offered at P1.4 million each under the government’s PUV modernization program.

The Philippine economy is fast developing. As the economy expands, it will need modern buses and mini-buses, more rail networks and modern modes of transportation. The jeepneys had served their purpose in the past. They have no place in the current and future Philippine roadmap.

Topics: Editorial , Jeepneys , mode of mass transportation , Malacañang Palace , Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board , Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program
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