On my part, I am in full support of the long-delayed plan of the government to modernize our jeepneys, the so-called “King of the Roads,” because of the following reasons:
1.) We are now in the 21st century;
2.) There is a need to modernize the jeepneys to make it fully work and for the passengers to be more comfortable in riding them;
3.) To phase out old jeepneys that cannot cope up anymore with the demands of the 21st century;
4.) To ensure that the jeepneys will be at par with environmental sustainability;
5.) For the jeepneys to have modern equipment like GPS so that the drivers will be taught how to use them well in driving such jeepneys while at the same time they may be subsidized by the Government;
6.) To serve as a preliminary step towards a more thorough mass public transport modernization program.
The said program is good. This has been conceptualized and planned I think decades ago and now is the time for it to be implemented NOW and as Mr. Arnel Ignacio put it this way: “NOW NA!”
I cannot really understand why the jeepney drivers and operators are opposing this if this program in the long run will eventually benefit them? Ano ba kinakatakot nila? I don’t think they will lose income over this.
Maybe their earnings, to my mind, will increase if the modernization program pushes through in the remaining five years of the present Duterte Administration. In fact, the LTFRB said that there will be a transition period when the new modern jeepneys will come in and the old jeepneys will be gradually be phased out for three years which will end on 2020.
However, be that as it may, I think the Government should have involved the jeepney drivers and operators in the crafting of the program which I did not see. That way, the drivers and the operators will be fully aware of the program itself.
This is maybe could the reason why they are opposing the program. I think at this point, their leaders should talk to the Government to engage them in series of dialogues about the program so that they could find a common ground as how to implement it well.