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The Jeepney

The Philippine Jeepney once considered the “King of the Road” in the Philippines continues to be one of the most popular modes of transportation despite economic and political pressure mounting against them. The Jeepneys originq can be traced back to the tens of thousands of American Jeeps left behind after WW2. The Filipinos saw an opportunity to convert the old jeeps into a form of public transportation.

The demand grew for the Jeepney and in 1953 Sarao Motors in Las Pias City, Philippines began manufacturing the Jeepney and would go on to become world famous because of it. At its peak the company was producing 18 – 20 Jeepneys a day, but the Asian economy and Government regulations began to take their toll and in October 2000 the company announced that production of the Jeepney was coming to an end.

Eleven years later the children of the late founder of Sarao Motors have reopened the plant, but it is only a fraction of what it once was, producing two – three Jeepneys a month. Nether the less the tradition continues and the company is looking into building more efficient models, including an electric Jeepney. That could alleviate some of the criticism aimed at the Jeepney, primarily that they are gas guzzlers and heavy polluters.

jeepney - carbon mkt. Cebu
The Jeepney is unique and it is said, “That no two are alike.” The Jeepenys are custom painted and decorated quite elaborately by the individual owners. The Jeepneys are privately owned and not a source of transportation provided by the government. Throughout many parts of the Philippines the Jeepney is the main source of transportation and I hope the problems that are plaguing them now can be worked out and these unique vehicles can continue to provide a valuable service to the people of the Philippines.

                 Jeepneys of the Philippines

                     JEEP Judgement call