Press "Enter" to skip to content

HONORING MY MOTHER | Why is it hard to move on

Gotcha. I should have said why is it hard to move over. Now I don’t know about other cities in the country, but are ‘multicab’ public utility vehicles still in use over there? If so, then it must be that we are one in suffering from the same fate when riding one. At first I thought it could only happen to me but to be accurate, I have asked students, office workers and fellow musicians the same question, do the seated passengers in multicab PUVs move to make way for incoming fellow riders? Or do you just squeeze yourself gingerly inside the cramped vehicle, slowly past sharp knees (or bags on the aisle) toward the remaining vacant seat (often located) behind the driver?

If in both queries, you answered with a No and then a Yes, it must be, we then belong to the growing majority of long-suffering commuters who have to put up with the prevailing don’t-care-about-you-I’m already-comfy-thank-you attitude.

Here’s the usual everyday scenario: the little car/jeep/whatever is already full except for one or two teeny-weeny seat spaces usually behind the driver. Instead of moving inward to accommodate you, the passengers sit still, immovable forces, while you traverse the whole length of the vehicle, bumping and rubbing knees with passengers on both sides. Once in your seat, you still have to squeeze into the cramped space because it’s just enough for half your behind. Happy riding.

Time was when ‘seating capacity’ also meant sitting comfortably in public utility vehicles. Yet somewhere along the growth of the riding population, the inability of smaller PUVs to seat them all and the stifling economic state of the times, the concept of capacity somehow became warped a bit. Nowadays, if a jeepney were said to have a seating capacity of only eight on both sides, then regardless of size, it must sit eight. Drivers are strict on this, otherwise they say, they’re short-changed per trip. While they say it’s technically math, the misplaced shrewdness betrays why they’re there in the first place, to serve the riding public.

At the present time, local government has come up with a move to ban the smaller PUVs franchises altogether and in their place, put out more comfortable buses and mini-buses to serve the local commuters. Ample preparations have already been initiated years earlier so that compensation for displaced drivers was effected, government say. However, there still remain grumblings and even mass mobilizations against this plan. It should be recalled in the 80s to the early 90s, public utility Minicas were phased out to make way for metered taxicabs which at the start was controversial for a time. I’m just wondering, is this but another repeat of that radical change from Minicas to taxicabs? Or is it possible that we’ve gone beyond not moving over and traipsed our way to not wanting to move on?


Powered By ICTC/DRS