President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad

To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
June 2017 Issue

The Special Joint Testimonial Luncheon in honor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. on May 24 was a huge success. FINEX, as the lead convenor, together with AMCHAM, CIBI Foundation, ECCP, MAP, MBC and PCCI, honored and celebrated Gov. Tetangco’s 12 years of successful leadership that leads to our country’s monetary stability and economic growth.

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The E Jeepney Debate
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Teodoro P. Estacio By Teodoro P. Estacio

MANILA BULETTIN (Business Option)
July 6, 2017

The E Jeepney Debate

Business Option is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Tuesday & Thursday in Manila Bulletin, business section. There is currently a debate and exchange of words between government representatives , more specifically from the Department of Transportation on one hand and a Transport Group on the other hand , only one of the many existing groups.

The debate is not focused on the future of the The Jeepney, which as we all know was born after the war when creative Filipinos repaired and reconditioned Willys Jeep left by American forces . From then it has become a major industry in the country. Jeepney makers not only flourished in Luzon but also in the Visayas and Mindanao. The old reliable jeepney is patronize by people coming from all market segments. Enterprising capitalist has made it as a source of livelihood to any Juan, Pedro and Pablo who knows the basics of driving. And the boundary system was born. Soon the taxi industry and the bus operators followed suit. The unspoken words of the debate is – no one from the Transport group wants change. And this is aggressively defended by issues like possible increase in passengers fares, displacement of many drivers and operators, and challenges in financing.

The same jeepneys however have remained on the road for years. Engines were just being reconditioned, tires are replaced by second hand or recap while exteriors are just repainted over the years.

The government proposal is for Operators or jeepney drivers to invest in E-Jeepneys – fuel efficient, comfortable , clean and safe on the road. The proposal is complete including how it can be financed.

The scenario is not new. Everytime there is a move to upgrade, improve or change the status quo, people revolt against it. The counter with strikes, “tigil pasada” and some even violent demonstrations.

Why cant parties sit in a negotiation table and discuss more intelligently the issues rather than solve it through demonstrations? In more advanced countries like Singapore and Malaysia, people comply. The old pieces of transport (actually, taxis ) are not phased out but sent to the provinces for further use. Others are exported to less developed countries. In the West, particularly the US and the Pacific like Australia and New Zealand, the strengthening of the mass transport system like the subway and Hop in – Hop Off trains gave little room for the Bus and no space for other modes of transpo. People follow their government. Government support them so there is peace and accord among all the stake holders. The result is unparalleled service to its citizens.

Modernizing the Transport industry is not just a matter of making us look good to our neighboring countries but it’s a tool to boost the economy. The E-Jeepney manufacturer for instance will definitely create new jobs, demand for parts can boost local industries, and in the long run maybe export this to our Asean brother nations. The Jeepney drivers and Operators, with their new units, can definitely expect imrpvement in their earnings.

It can help Labor by increasing employment ratio. Potential workers need not migrate but get to try their luck with our local industries. The drivers themselves can learn new skills and probably earn more than his daily take out of a 12 hour driving. Time to change career.

It can help boost Tourism – if every hotel and leisure site will use them for city tours or private trips, then expect it to generate interest from every foreign visitor. Why use coaches, they have been used to it anyway?

Lastly, its time that we embrace change. We cannot forever maintain the age-old jeepneys on the road. We need to reinvent ourselves.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of FINEX.

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