With the jeepney strikes protesting against the impending phaseout in favor of jeepney modernization last Monday which almost paralyzed public transport in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces (and to lesser extent other cities in the country) and the LTFRB’s controversial decisions against Uber and Grab (which is increasingly becoming the preferred mode of transport among certain segments of the riding public), one thing is for certain, a comprehensive reform of the public transport system.
How do we propose such a reform?
- Continue with the jeepney modernization, which is necessary as our distinctive mode of transport which is a sign of Filipino ingenuity must keep up with modern times. (which will also help local manufacturers)
- The government could employ the jeepney drivers which will make them entitled to benefits like housing, health insurance, and regular pay, as opposed to a per boundary basis.
- The government could professionalize drivers through seminars on a regular basis (seminars on traffic laws, among others), so as to mitigate concerns on drivers beating regulations such as no-loading zones, speeding, etc.
- Develop and expand the railway system (LRT, PNR, MRT) across the country, not just in Metro Manila but also in other urban centers like Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Baguio, among others so as to reduce road congestion, as well as improved connecivity
These are the only tangible solutions available to the government if we truly want to reform our public transport system in the country. As citizens we can offer solutions but it’s still up to them to decide whether or not to carry out those mentioned above, but in our opinion it’s the way to go.
It will take a long time, until then, tiis-tiis muna.