PUV: Public (Private) Utility Vehicle

So I had this realization.

Public hospital is defined (by wikipedia) as a hospital which is owned by a government and receives government funding.

Public school is (by Merriam) a school that gets money from and is controlled by the government.

And so is Public CR, Public Park, Public whatever — owned by the government (in part or in whole) thus is for public use.

Then I came across the abbreviation PUV or Public Utility Vehicle. Following my dumb logic, and basic transitivity rule, Public Utility Vehicle (aka jeepney, jeep) must probably be controlled, owned, or funded by the government.

But then I realized, no it’s not. Then, I googled it, ‘Public Transport’– Oh, no, it’s not. (Public transport, wikipediais a shared passenger-transport service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, carpooling, or hired buses, which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.)

And then I realized, ‘Oh, why not?’.

In the Philippines, public transportation has always been a big pain in the a**. Taking public transportation (jeepneys, buses) going to work/ school is always a struggle; biggest challenge you need to face before starting your day. One of my friends jokingly said before (favorite joke), “Aalis ka ng bahay ng disente, propesyunal, dadating ka ng opisina na parang kakagaling ng gyera.” or “Papasok ka ng MRT bilang tao, lalabas kang mandirigma).”

Not only that, it’s becoming more apparent, especially in Manila, for jeepney drivers not to follow basic traffic rules. Kaskasero, nang gigiit, hitting the red light, swerving, loading sa maling lugar, biglang hihinto, humaharurot ng wala sa oras — for someone who rides his bike going to the office, and has great fear of crossing the street (even in pedestrian lanes because drivers never follow this rule anyway), I always fear for my life.

And it should not be that way. We can’t always be like.

So, putting myself on the driver’s shoes. I asked, why am I like that, why should I be like that (cue: Secret love song). Three things I could think of:

  1. I need to reach my quota for the day (for boundary, gas, daily expense);
  2. Traffic rules are loose; Buaya traffic enforcers are everywhere.
  3. Contrary to what I’m being labeled, I’m actually a private vehicle.

Reaching the quota

Most of the drivers in the Philippines don’t own their vehicle. They still need to pay the rent for the jeepney, the gas, and their basic daily needs. After a hard day’s work, they’ll only earn 300 to 600 pesos. Of course, I’ll work harder in order to earn more. Unfortunately, working hard often means being bada** in the streets. Somehow you can’t blame them.

Traffic rules are loose; Buaya traffic enforcers are everywhere.

Needless to explain, many jeepney drivers can violate traffic rules and get away with it. Not to generalize all traffic enforcers, but there are traffic enforcers who are BS preying on jeepney driver’s hard earned money. Many times, jeepney drivers fear not the law but the traffic enforcers because of pangongotong, at panghuhuli na wala sa lugarDiscipline should come from the drivers, but also to the traffic enforcers, they should be suspended, or better yet terminated of their jobs immediately if they’re caught red-handed. Discipline applies to passengers, and pedestrians as well.

Contrary to what I’m being labeled, I’m actually a private vehicle.

The sad truth about all this, actually, is that I am not owned by the government. The government imposes many rules, batas ng pag babawal, taas-baba ng pamasahe, laws the favors the masses but little do the they care of how much money I earn for the day; or if the what I’m getting is enough to feed the mouths left at home.

The problem with the government, the impose rules and ordinance for the greater good they forgot the minority with basic needs as well. Belonging to the minority, kapit sa patalim, gagawin ang lahat para makapag boundary, mabuhay.

As a proactive youth, I’m not going to rant without proposing an alternative (not so perfect, but something to consider).

Why can’t the government own/ subsidize/ take control of the public transportation? Public Utility Vehicle to own his name. Make drivers be like laborers, teachers,  executive assistants- with fixed salaries and compensation from the government. I’m not an economist to compute (maybe someone could), but the government could compute and allot a certain budget to compensate jeepney drivers. Ang

Ang trabaho naman nila ay para sa kapakanan ng nakararami, dapat lang na supportahan ito ng gobyerno. Ensuring a safe, adequate, and efficient transportation should always been the government’s job.

My proposition is vague, but something to think of. Drivers will only need to work 8-hours a day (more time with family), with defined shifting or schedule by the government. The passengers still pay a certain amount for her transportation, but instead of the money going straight to the driver (or his contractors for that matter), this will go to a local government entity. The money will be used for sustainability and compensation for the drivers.

With this, 1.) drivers need not to work hard (working hard as described above) in order to get the minimum money for the day; 2) No more kaskaseros, swerving, etc. since they don’t need to, they get paid a day’s worth of money. 3) the government will have complete control over them. They can strictly implement rules (answering dillema no. 2, as stated above) else drivers will get suspended or fired. 4) The burden of taas-baba ng krudo is no longer on the driver’s but the government’s shoulders (like it always should). 5) Number of jeepneys and other public utility vehicles in the road can be efficiently controlled (Thus, less traffic!).

I know there are downfalls and loopholes in this set-up, but I think this should be something worth considering.

Imagine. What if one day we’d be like this; no more traffic, no more violating the rules, drivers get paid enough for their basic needs, pedestrians and passengers need not to fear their lives. What if. I dream that someday the Philippines will be like this.

I dream that someday the Philippines will be like this.

A new day for the Philippines.


I know there are many other benefits and problems with this set-up, feel free to comment below. Hopefully this proposition gets to the local LGUs, the Congress, or the President for consideration. 🙂


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