Davao's Honesty Jeepney: Creativity Sparked by COVID-19

Davao's Honesty Jeepney

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.

In this system, customers can list down the items they are buying, leave the payment, and take their goods. They even collect their change by getting it from the pool of money.

A different kind of honesty system, which became particularly useful in these adverse times, was the “honesty jeepney” that plied the streets of Davao City before an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was implemented.

A video went viral on the internet since March 24 showed containers made of repurposed Shell Rimula engine oil plastic canisters that were used not just to serve as dividers between passengers to keep with social distancing, but to hold their fares too. In the video, a passenger was also heard jokingly saying, “Bawal kumupit." or "Stealing is not allowed.”

During pre-ECQ times when social distancing was important especially in usually crowded public transport, the honesty system in that jeepney had been useful in ensuring that people were safe from coronavirus infection.

Because of strict social distancing rules, only 6 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.

photos screen-capped from: https://www.facebook.com/abscbnNEWS/

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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