Da Coconut Repablik

A Chronicle of the Da Pinoys and Da Coconut Repablik of Da Pilipins

Da Pinoy Chronicle: On The U.P Monorail Project: Under Fire From Da Pinoy Mentality

Folks, it’s a slow news week for the Philippines recently with most of the local media are still reporting about the devastation of numerous provinces in the Compostela Valley due to Typhoon Pablo, which as of recent have no plans to leave this country for a while. As I had said last week, the Philippines must prepare for the worst to happen and it finally came true. Our main focus will the the Automated Guided Transit or the U.P Diliman Monorail Project.

The project is a test bed for future applications of the monorail systems in this country, especially in urban areas where traffic is  everyday a pain in the arse. The project are jointly funded by the campus and the DOST. It will replace the technologically outdated, retarded and environmentally damaging ikot jeepneys that currently providing commuter transport around the campus.

The mainstream media, as usual will portray the jeepney drivers as the underdogs. The supposed project will affect their monopoly and their income. It might be true that it will force the jeepneys to mostly retire, but there is no need to be afraid of this project.

The jeepney drivers have two options if the station in Diliman will be opened: upgrade their jeeps to air conditioning and improve their services or join the staff of the station as technicians. In this competitive world of globalisation, you need to adapt to change or GTFO.

Actually, if the drivers will upgrade their jeeps to my suggested configurations, it will be a lot better. Jeepneys are more faster to tour the whole campus and the monorail project is just a test bed. It will not cover the campus itself in its first run.

The monorail project is one of the rare instances that the skill of the Filipinos are put into good hands. The engineers, technicians, scientists and other authorities who collaborated with the project are pretty clever.

The concept of monorail system in the near future is pretty clever also. Now that’s what I called true pride, the international community is supportive. The pathetic pride of our people to individuals is purely ridiculous or even an achievement. As said by Ben Kritz  from GetReal Philippines:

But no, rather than promoting this ambitious, sophisticated, and totally home-grown achievement, the people who would ultimately benefit from it instead express, and not at all subtly, a desire to see it fail.

Rather than highlighting the future positive potential of the system, or even just objectively describing the project in the spirit of balanced news, Rappler instead suggests that the ‘livelihood’ of the Ikot drivers (a total of 60 people, mind you, in a metropolis of 14 million) is a greater concern. At the same time, an ‘expert’ – one who obviously knows at least a little about the topic, but chooses to share his insights as electronic graffiti – dismisses the project as a mere “proof of concept” (Note to Mr. Expert: The proof of concept was the small test track built at the DOST facility in Taguig. This is actually an operational test.) and declares it “not viable for the foreseeable future”, suggesting funds – which he seems to have certain knowledge are unattainable anyway – would be better spent on other things.

I don’t get it. Pinoys obviously do not fear new things, else they would not trip over each other and themselves to be first in line to own the latest gadgets or spread the latest fad, and to take pride in doing so. But show them something big, practical, and which they can legitimately take pride in – and for which the rest of the world can view them with legitimate approval – and they cringe in terror.

I am scratching my head right now. Why Filipinos are so afraid of legitimate changes to something? Do we have a culture of the fear of the unknown? This culture we have is one of the main factors why our country can’t move forward.

We are not competitive and rational. We need to adapt changes that will help the greater percentage of our population, like Constitutional Reform. We cannot afford to sit back and do nothing.

I am not over enthusiastic about the project. I have two questions:

Will the state support the project and aid DOST, even saving them from the recent austerity measures by Homer? Will the staff can maintain the trains and make repairs on time and on schedule, as well as unorthodox solutions to some problems?

Yes, the tried and tested formula works, but some unorthodox solutions are better than the old ones. I hope the best success for the staff and the project itself. I hope ningas cogon mentality will not strike at these individuals. The future is still quite uncertain though.

Murphy’s Law states that:

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong

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