One of our writers once called the jeepney ‘Filipino culture on wheels’. Another one of our writers wrote about the life lessons that one can learn from commuting via jeepney. Still another writer wrote about how to make jeepney rides more fun and interesting.
Without a doubt, in both good and bad ways, jeepneys have played a huge role in the lives of Filipinos. However, it looks like they might not be around a few years from now as the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) aims to release one million electric vehicles by the year 2020 for the benefit of both the environment and the drivers on the road.
While it may come with various benefits, though, I feel like a certain charm will be vanishing from the roads, as well. Every time a friend of mine from abroad comes to visit, they always get excited about the thought of riding a jeep. After all, they are iconic symbols of culture despite the pollution that comes with them. Plus, they proved to be cheap and reliable vehicles of transportation for years. It was always so easy to just decide to get on a jeep if you didn’t have more than a few coins with you.
Under the modernisation program, jeepneys that are 15 years old or older will be replaced with the more environmentally friendly vehicles. Of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds and it will be a huge change for current jeepney drivers; but the government has vowed to help them sell their old jeepneys and get loans for the newer models. They have also vowed to provide safety training for jeepney drivers, which is another major bonus since a lot of them are notorious for driving too recklessly. Let’s just hope all of those things won’t cost too much money – and let’s hope the newer models won’t cost too much, either.
What about you? Do you think phasing out our old jeepneys is a good move?