Admirable Davao’s Honesty Jeepney Driver Ignite Creative Spark Despite Covid-19

2:08 AM
Where it is almost impossible to not find at least one man in uniform in a day in Davao, this place has been so mesmerizing in so many ways for me. And despite the quarantine scare, a “Honesty Jeepney” stands out!

Many of us may have heard of the honesty system, which is practiced in many establishments like coffee houses and souvenir shops in many countries, including the Philippines. Not to mention, the Honesty Coffee Shop in Batanes that hits the global interest.

The honesty jeepney isn’t just your ordinary public jeepney in Davao. It became popular because of a relevant system in these adverse circumstances.

It is unmanned and trusting the passengers that they do the right thing and pay right. Yep, you get a good ride on your way to your destination and drop your payment at designated containers. These containers were strategically placed and spaced out in the seats — in keeping with social distancing protocols.

March 24, 2020 — a video that went viral on the internet since it showed containers made of repurposed Shell Rimula engine oil plastic canisters were used not just to serve as dividers between passengers but to hold passengers’ fares. In the video, a passenger was also heard jokingly saying, “​Bawal kumupit ​[Stealing is not allowed.].

During pre-ECQ times when social distancing was especially important and contact must be minimized especially in usually crowded public transport, the honesty system in that jeep had been useful in ensuring that people were safe from coronavirus infection, even in public transportation.

Because of strict social distancing rules, only six to 10 passengers were allowed at a time in jeepneys in Davao City. Jeepneys were still able to do their usual business in Davao City before an ECQ prevented them from operating last April 4.

Creativity Amid Adversity

Jefferson Camasin, the netizen who was able to capture the footage of the honesty jeepney, said that the driver was willing to risk losing profit just so his passengers could be safe and have less chances of catching the virus.

Camasin said that he and his fellow passengers praised the driver and supported the jeepney’s honesty system by paying the correct fare. Some of them even gave tips, knowing how difficult it was to earn a living that time when jeepney drivers can only ferry a few passengers at a time.

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