Prepare to Say Goodbye to the Jeepney as We Know It

The LTFRB is pushing for full modernization by 2020.

( Whether you love it or hate it, the jeepney has become integral to life in the Philippines. The chrome King of the Streets has earned a reputation that is equal parts notorious and admired. For the most part though, the jeepney has remained unchanged since its birth post-World War II—think wild decorations and even wilder seating arrangements—but it looks like a new tide is officially coming in. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has once again reiterated its June 2020 deadline for a complete modernization of jeepneys.

The Beep, or Bagong Jeepney units, are an example of the modern jeepneys set to take on our roads by 2020. BEEP Business Opportunities Facebook Page

"Ang deadliest deadline n'yan, June 30, 2020. Mawawala na lahat ng mausok at bulok na sasakyan, jeep, basically," said Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Member Ronaldo F. Corpuz in a report by Business World. This move is part of the LTFRB's Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program, which was started in June 2017.

The board has been pushing for fleet modernization since then, with around 4,000 modernized jeepney units added to Metro Manila roads. It's been nearly three years, but this number is still far from their goal of 170,000 units out by 2020.

Several groups have also expressed their dissent. In a protest on July 16, the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide protested the program, according to Business Mirror. The groups protested the difficulty of complying with the LTFRB's terms and called for older, but still roadworthy, jeepney units to be allowed to continue plying the streets.

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Main image by Dolcevitalux - Flickr.

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