Special Niche for Private Car Owners?

I heard this somewhere. Donald Trump tried to call the emergency services by dialing 911 on his phone. He found the nine easily, but then couldn’t find the eleven. 

I am reminded of this joke when I look at the war on the streets over the PUV modernization program.

Even when the government has explained to the affected sectors what this program is all about, the strongly militant Piston fails to see the wisdom of the program. It insists on making things difficult when it’s all easy. It insists on finding the 11.

This PUV modernization program has been in the drawing board of every President before President Digong. But just talking about was a cause for worry by politically sensitive leaders of the land.

This challenge found its match in President Digong and equally brave Secretary Arthur Tugade of the DOTr. Unafraid of the political price the move will take, they are pushing hard for its implementation. This is the only solution to the worsening congestion and pollution problem in the streets of Metro Manila and other cities. 

The strongly militant Piston expectedly took to the streets, resulting in class and government work suspension. The result? The transport strike died an expected death due to lowered demand for rides. 

The whispers in coffee shops support President Digong’s strong political will to make this dream of modernizing our transport system come true. 

Very few believe it’s anti-poor considering that the government is putting aside billions of pesos to make the new units affordable to operators. Every support to make it profitable to operators is there from the lowest equity, to lowest interest rates, to longest term, to cooperativism, to fixing the routes. All these are in place and available to operators.  


But Piston has every reason to complain why the private vehicles are not covered by the 15-year ban. I agree with them. Many instant traffic jams are caused by breakdown of old cars, private jeeps and trucks. 

That the enforcement of solutions to congestion has failed to touch private vehicles makes the application selective. But I guess the government is not too far away from rationalizing car ownership. They surely are just starting in the more notorious sector, the highest contributor of undisciplined drivers, and to pollution in our air. 

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Sunday, 23 September 2018
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