September 12, 2010

Public Utility Drivers of the Philippines: Professional Amateurs

Last Thursday, September 10, I was with my buddies and headed to a friend's house to drink the night away after attending the school's acquaintance party. We stopped by McDonald's to grab something to eat before we drown ourselves to sleep with beer. So after that we were leaving the premises of the fast food and then suddenly, taxi appeared up in my rear and I hit his front, my rear lights was broken. I was thinking how unlucky I get from trying to be extra-careful.

I just concluded that Public Utility Vehicle Drivers (PUV-D) are the worst drivers in the Philippines. You can prove my claim by just asking around 10 random non-pro licensed drivers and they'll tell you what kind of driver they hate and it's always going to be a PUV Driver.

In my knowledge, the Philippines has 6 PUVs around the country. This are the Pedicabs, Tricycles, Jeepneys, Taxis, FX and the big Bus. Those are 6 form of public transportation, a lot of ways to go around in a small country.

Each of those kinds has its own driving problems, they are all unique and amazingly, they're stereotyped and it's a proven stereotype. It's like each driving specie has its own driving skill, whether good or bad.

Let's get it started with the smallest.

PEDICAB - A bicycle with a sidecar, the good thing is that it's earth friendly, no gas needed just pure energy and endurance from the driver, the problem is that because they are small, they get into one way streets and if you're going fast, you're in a collision course with these people.

TRICYCLE - A motorcycle with sidecar, what's good is it's close to the size of the PEDICAB, it's also faster, the problem is that they aren't the most polite drivers, they tend to race with other tricycles even if they have passengers on board.

JEEPNEY - Was invented from the WW2 military Jeeps left by the Americans in the country, then grew to be the most popular of all PUVs and a country's icon to the world. What's great about the Jeepney is that it's the cheapest transportation and it practices passengers to be honest while paying the fee. The bad thing? well you better not get too close from these guys because they just hit the break whenever the passenger halts them, they drop passengers like paratroopers, literally anywhere they like.

TAXI - The closest to having your own driver take you anywhere, that's the good thing but, will he agree on taking you there? or it will cost more than it should be? They always complain about not getting enough profit, it's because they refuse to take people if the passenger won't give extra tip or a plus to the flag down rate, they are the most GREEDY of all.

 The FX - Named after the "Tamaraw FX" model of a car. What's good is it's like riding an air conditioned Jeepney, the bad news is that, is the air conditioning unit working? Yes folks these cars are the most UN CHECKED vehicles, the dirtiest to look at actually, the most sick from all, they don't have regular check ups.

BUS - The big boss of the road, the kings as what they claimed although it is considered that the Jeepneys are the kings. It's big and has entertainment on board, either the radio or tv or if you're lucky, a movie might be playing. The bast thing is that they have the most number of accidents in the past recent years, The MOST RECKLESS of all drivers, they think they're driving mini coopers.

I wonder how did they get PROFESSIONAL LICENSE so easily, it just proves the lack of training and sensitivity from the drivers and the Government who issue so called "Professional" driver's license to these crazy drivers.

I do not own any of the pictures posted here, It is downloaded from the net using Google browser.


Anonymous said...

IMO, the jeep and the pedicabs(in legarda) are the most reckless drivers. Siksik dito, siksik dyan. Wala nang inisip kundi kumita ng marami kaysa safety ng passengers.

John Exos Nulud said...

yeah, I agree to that, the government needs to do some discipline around public drivers, they endanger the lives of their passengers.

JML said...

I admit, they can be reckless. But I had one foreign professor tell me once, that the Philippines had the most convenient system of transportation he had ever seen. It doesn't matter how small a street is, or how far in the mountains a village may be, there's always a form of transportation to get there. Of course, he may be exaggerating a bit, since I'm sure some places are inaccessible enough that you have to walk there, however, I do get the essential point he's making.

PS: I think you forgot one more. Have you ever ridden a habal-habal? They're just motorcycles. But depending on the place, like in mountain villages, since roads are too narrow, they sometimes fit as much as four people on one motorcycle. Sometimes, they put planks wide enough for people to sit on so they can fit even more people. They also have them in small streets in Cebu.