Jeepney operators and drivers particularly in Metro Manila are clamoring to the president that their vehicles be not phased out and replaced by modern ‘jeepneys’ but be allowed to continue, and be supported so they won’t lose their means of livelihood.

Members of this sector are banking on the President’s campaign promise that he will help them out with their kind of transport industry to augment their income and improve their lives through legal means. This time, though, their traditional, worn-out vehicles are at risk of being phased out for good, to give way to modern transport vehicles that, according to these people, they cannot afford to buy.

The president must be ‘torn between two lovers’ in this issue. Much as he would like to help the transport sector, he also is advocating for the modernization of public transport to make it environmentally friendly and safe for the commuters’ health. It can be noted that these old jeepneys have been contributing much to the air pollution of Metro Manila with their dark, sticky fumes that force into the people’s nostrils in the midst of traffic jams.

If the president will give in to the demands of the jeepney drivers and operators, that would mean our public utility vehicles would remain backward, ancient, and injurious to health and the environment, not to mention the ugliness that some of these vehicles are showing with their rotten and dilapidated makeup. If he pursues transport modernization, passenger vehicles would be decent-looking, protective of commuters with their air-conditioned and closed cabins, and health as well as environment-friendly. That’s advantageous to a greater number of citizens that the president ought to serve.

It’s a clash of wills—the transport players looking only into their own welfare, and the president running after the welfare of the majority of people and the nation in general. Our country also needs to progress and develop, not just remain in the past, making use of ancient and barriotic means.