When age matters | The Daily Guardian


IN A NOT so hectic day, a woman in a clean uniform was standing by waiting for a public utility jeepney (PUJ). From afar, you look quite fine but as you continue to approach her, she noticed your wrinkled face, your rusty built, and your bald interior and, instead of hopping in, when you stopped; she gave you a snobbish look and pretended that she’s checking her nails, deliberately ignoring you.

Hiding your disappointment, you geared up again, but then you gave that terrible fart, too toxic to be felt and seen. The woman you left behind choked and she gave you an “F” sign growling words you don’t understand. Your embarrassment didn’t end there because everybody on the street saw your leaking tears on the road.

Like a brokenhearted man, you let out a number of sobs before you finally halted into submission that you are old, disfigured, devalued, and dysfunctional. This is where you could say age does really matter. After serving your master for over 15 years, you are persecuted as useless and a threat to the commuters by the LTO.

Your master, along with other drivers as vintage as their jeepneys, decided to join the transport strike on June 5 and 6, to oppose this law on ditching old PUJs out of the streets, claiming they have also ditched your source of living. Just in time for the rush of the school’s opening, the organizer of this strike already apologized in advance for the hassle they will cause during the 2-day halt. This is what it’s all about making a statement and impact in order to be heard.

Others would say you have served enough while others believe you’re still able. But authorities insist that you’re good to go for the junk yard.  Your kilos worth will be your last contribution to your master’s table but you will never be forgotten.  Your memorabilia are the framed diplomas and medals hanging in your master’s house as he owed you his children’s education.

I understand your sentiments and that of your master’s and I may mourn your dismemberment. It is a given truth that all things deteriorate and eventually perish – and in this premise that this law is acceptable. And with acceptance comes hope and new beginnings.

The introduction of e-cars and solar jeepneys is a new age approach to contribute to the world-wide campaign for renewable energy and environmental conservation. It is considered a giant leap for the government and naturally, it invites scrutiny and opposition.

Misinformation alleging that this “phase-out” move by the government favors the capitalists and oppresses the small jeepney operators sounds misplaced.  In fact, it provides opportunity for drivers to own a new jeepney at a very reasonable and affordable mode of payment.

Not too much impact here in Iloilo because we are known for our modern PUJs – from the Candy CPU models in the 1990s, which was replaced by the Pasaherong Sosyal models, which took a hit in the early 2000 after monopolizing the production of jeepneys  in the city and province of Iloilo.

I must say the new regulation might completely disable the Parola-route and will half dispel the Jaro-Liko units, they’ve been there for as long as I can remember.

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