If you’ve been scrolling through your news feed for the past few weeks, you probably know by now that Filipino social media is abuzz with the news of the looming jeepney phaseout.
Yes, we’re talking about the traditional jeepney phaseout that the government has been pushing to happen since 2017.
But in case you’re wondering what’s going on, allow us to fill you in with a brief explanation.
While the news of the jeepney phaseout is nothing new, it has once again made rounds online after the Land Transformation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issued a memo indicating the assailed phaseout of traditional jeeps after June 30 which was then extended once again to December 31.
In the memo, the old-style jeeps and UV Express will not be allowed to operate after the deadline unless they start to join existing cooperatives or form a consolidation, as stated in the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program.
Understandably, this decision was met with criticism and protests from the transport groups, resulting in a weeklong nationwide strike to contest the impending phaseout.
The news also didn’t sit well with many Filipinos, and as a result, they turned to social media to express support for the jeepney drivers using the tag, “#NoToJeepneyPhaseout.”
Now, while the subject is no laughing matter, some Filipinos were able to find a way to make the whole situation funny in the format everyone knows best: memes.
Filipinos online are meme-fying and shitposting about the topic to give light to the issue, and it’s difficult not to laugh at them, though:
Queen Nicki Minaj has spoken and she’s taking a stand. We stan the queen of rap! Pero bakit wala siyang suot na face mask?
Vin Diesel believes that nothing is stronger than family so he’s also protesting for #NoToJeepneyPhaseout. A real hero.
Hands up if you can relate to this! Jeepneys are the best place to review for your exams and we can attest to that.
A jeepney offering committal services? Now, we wouldn’t see any of that if our traditional jeepneys will be phased out.
— mbti but pinoy (@mbtibutpinoy) March 5, 2023
— ⭐ (@GEMISODA) March 3, 2023
no to jeepney phaseout!!!! pic.twitter.com/7FqjZRUzUD
— aj (@rebo1usyon) March 5, 2023
— vico fiero (@vicentejian) March 5, 2023
— Pura Luka Vega 🙃 (@ama_survivah) March 3, 2023
— Kai ☕️ (@kaimeanschicken) March 3, 2023
While the jeepney phaseout issue inspired a plethora of memes and generated all sorts of shitposting, let’s remember the real reason why it has been trending for the past few weeks.
Let’s not forget that the #NoToJeepneyPhaseout is more than just a laugh fest; it’s the call of our jeepney drivers and operators, transportation groups, and activists alike against the looming phaseout that’s about to happen. It’s a protest against a policy that will affect thousands of people.
Sure, the modernization of our country’s transportation system may be “long overdue.” We definitely understand that for a country to progress, a lot of things will have to change to respond to and keep up with the current and future climate.
But how can a country progress if the government plans to implement policies that are anti-poor and anti-people?
You see, the transportation groups are not against the idea of modernizing PUVs. However, the current policy that the national government is proposing raises a lot of concerns with the first one being that modern vehicles are way too expensive.
Imagine having to buy modern jeepneys and mini buses that cost over P2 million with an income that is not enough to meet your daily needs, with an inflation continuing to skyrocket to top it all off.
Sure, the government is willing to help by providing loans to the small-time jeepney operators, but they’re just pushing them into debt with a nearly impossible way to get out.
Let’s not also forget that the commuters are heavily affected by the looming phaseout. Along with the privatization of our public transportation, fare hikes will also be in effect to keep up with the maintenance cost and possibly to pay their loans.
With the phase-out of the traditional jeepneys, the PUV drivers, operators, and commuters’ livelihoods are at stake.
Now that today’s the first day that the transportation groups will take to the streets to call for the government’s attention to their plights, let’s understand where they’re coming from and not be mad at them. If we already have a hard time commuting right now, imagine what will happen to all of us if the government decides to push through with its anti-poor program.
As the saying goes: “Sa laban ng tsuper, kasama ang komyuter.”
— nook (@kiansillano) March 4, 2023
So, #NoToJeepneyPhaseout. Periodt.
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