8 Bits of Misinformation
the Jeepney Modernization Program,
By Kel Fabie
When looking at an issue that is as multi-faceted as the Jeepney Modernization program, it is important to not assume either the government or the jeepney drivers and operators are in the wrong and to act accordingly. There is a lot of push and pull between both sides, and as the past couple of days of the transport strike has shown, it’s the commuting public who ends up getting caught in the crossfire. As usual.
Unfortunately, in forming an opinion about this issue, a lot of misinformation has been coming out from both sides, and this has muddled the opportunity for sensible discussion, as emotions end up running high, particularly since people’s livelihoods are on the line. Let’s try to shine the light on this issue and break down some common misconceptions about the Jeepney Modernization Program.
8. The jeepney phaseout is NOT instantaneous.
It seems a bit ludicrous to expect that overnight, all the jeepneys on the road, y’know, all 270,000 of them in the Philippines, would just disappear, completely replaced by brand spanking new models. The reality is, this rollout will have to happen in stages, as is the case with any undertaking as massive as this.
7. The modernization will not raise minimum fares to 20PhP, but…
… nobody said anything about fares not being raised at all. Even without the modernization program, you know it’s just a matter of time before fares rise, to begin with, so the government is being a bit disingenuous here in denying what is admittedly an exaggeration on the part of the jeepney industry, but not clarifying what the effect on fares will actually be.
6. The jeepneys are subsidized, but…
The honest fact is, at some point, someone has to pay for the modernized jeepneys, and it will end up being either the drivers. owners, and operators, and/or the passengers, since the government’s promised subsidy will only max out at 80,000 PhP. This is very important because the new E-Jeepneys are pegged at 1.5 to 1.8 Million each. Not everyone can afford that, even on downpayment.
5. The modernization program will not benefit the international auto industry.
The modernization program is geared towards mutual uplifting, as it is aimed towards bringing a mode of transportation that should have been abolished ages ago up to international standards, by providing them with modernized jeepney units produced by local businesses. In short, if all goes according to plan, this modernization program benefits Filipinos all around, instead of international car manufacturers.