September 24, 2010

The Many Problems of Philippines' Public Transportation.

My home country is strewn with public transportation such as buses, jeepneys, taxis, tricycles and old vehicles still plying the public roads.  Some of these public transportation vehicles are second hand and fixed to look new. Some are custom made like the jeepneys and tricycles and some taxis are dilapidated and yet, they still ply the roads. Are there really a strict guideline that public transportation manufacturers of jeepneys and tricycles follow when they make custom vehicles that will run the public street? I wonder.

Here are just some of the many problems the Philippines’ public transportation is facing:


You casually take a trip along EDSA on a fine Saturday morning and you won’t see much of a traffic yet as it is a weekend. You will, however, see public transportation buses plying the stretch of EDSA. The common denomination you will notice right away is that, most of them are smoke belchers. Most of the vehicles still belch black-grayish smokes of carbon monoxide and not much is done about it. The government is trying to curb these by having smoke-emission tests before a vehicle is registered. The question is, is it being followed?


Smoke emission is not only the problem of the growing number of public transportation woes in the country. There is the lack of proper adherence to safety rules and guidelines, drivers and operators (although not all) do not think of their customers’ safety and welfare and some drivers are not well versed with the right traffic rules and regulations. They just don’t follow.

Week after week, news of accidents and people being run over is becoming a common trend. It is a scary trend because you just don’t know if you’re safe or not whether you are standing outside waiting for a bus or taxi or being inside one.

There are incidents as well of modus operandi being done by taxi drivers. They have this ammonia with them and release some fumes while his side windows are down and nose covered. The unknowing victim at the back will lose consciousness and get robbed and dumped somewhere else. Other tricks done in connivance with the driver is that, he will open the doors from his main control and few men will get in and rob the passenger with a gun or knife pointed to the hapless victims. It’s a scary trend and not a good one.


Some drivers probably got their first hand in driving from their parents or elders who taught them how to drive. Did they attend diving school and learned all the right of way or other traffic rules that all drivers should know? I am not saying they don’t have the means but what I am saying, every driver should be properly equipped with the knowledge of safety issues and defensive driving not offensive. You see them race on the road not minding the many souls on board which are their responsibility.

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