Manufacturer A.Borja, Armak, Celestial, F.G., Hayag, Hataw, Hebron, LGS, Lippad, Morales Motors, Nelson, Sarao
Production post World War II 1945 - present
Assembly Philippines
Class Minivan , Minibus, Jeep
Body style(s) Multi-purpose vehicle
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine(s) 2.0L Isuzu C190
2.2L Isuzu C220
2.4L Isuzu C240
2.8L Isuzu 4BA1
3.3L Isuzu 4BC1
3.3L Isuzu 4BC2
3.6L Isuzu 4BE1
4.3L Isuzu 4BG1
2.7L Mitsubishi 4DR5
Mitsubishi 4D30
Mitsubishi 4D32
Mitsubishi 4D33
Transmission(s) 4 speed Manual transmission
5 speed Manual transmission
6 speed Manual transmission
Related Jeep
Designer Leonardo Sarao[1]

Jeepneys are the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines.[2] They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II[3] and are known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating. They have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture.

The word jeepney is a portmanteau of "jeep" and "Jitney".[4]

While most are used as public utility vehicles, jeepneys used as a personal vehicle have their tailgate attached, known in the Philippines as "For family use", originating from the sign painted on them. Jeepneys are used less often for commercial or institutional use.

History Edit

Willys Jeep 1943

A 1943 Willys jeep, the basis for the design of jeepneys

When American troops began to leave the Philippines at the end of WWII, hundreds of surplus jeeps were sold or given to the Filipinos. They were stripped down and altered; metal roofs were added for shade; and decorated the vehicles with vibrant colors and chrome-plated hood and other ornaments. They reconfigured the jeeps to accommodate more passengers and classified them as passenger-type jeeps. Its size, length and passenger capacity had increased as it evolved though the years. The non-extended, original-seat configuration jeeps were labeled owners, short for owner-type jeep, and used non-commercially.

The jeepney rapidly emerged as a popular and creative way to re-establish inexpensive public transportation, which had been virtually destroyed during WWII. Recognizing the widespread use of these vehicles, the Philippine government began to regulate their use. Drivers now must have specialized licenses, regular routes, and reasonably fixed fares.

Manufacturers Edit


A jeepney in Manila.

Although the original jeepneys were simply refurbished military jeeps by Willys & Ford, modern jeepneys are now produced by independently owned workshops and factories in the Philippines with surplus engines and parts coming from Japan. In the central island of Cebu, the bulk of jeepneys are built from second-hand Japanese trucks, originally intended for cargo. These are euphemistically known as "surplus" trucks.

There are two classes of jeepney builders in the Philippines.[2] The backyard builders produce 1-5 vehicles a month, source their die-stamped pieces from one of the larger manufacturers, and work with used engines and chassis from salvage yards (usually the Isuzu 4BA1, 4BC2, 4BE1 series diesel engines or the Mitsubishi Fuso 4D30 diesel engines). The second type is the large volume manufacturer. They have two subgroups: the PUJ, or "public utility jeep," and the large volume metal-stamping companies that supply parts as well as complete vehicles.

The jeepney builders in the past were mostly based in Cebu City and Las Piñas City. The largest manufacturer of vintage-style army jeepneys is MD Juan. Other makers include Armak Motors (San Pablo, Laguna), Celestial Motors (San Pablo, Laguna), Hebron Motors, LGS Motors, Malagueña (Imus City), Mega (Lipa City), Morales Motors (San Mateo, Rizal), and Sarao Motors (Las Piñas City). Another manufacturer, PBJ Motors, manufactured jeepneys in Pampanga using techniques derived from Sarao Motors. Armak now sells remanufactured trucks and vehicles as an adjunct, alongside its jeepneys.

Regional manufacturers and variation in designEdit

In Cebu, popular jeepney manufacturers are Chariot and RDAK, known for its "flat-nosed" jeepneys made from surplus Suzuki minivans and Isuzu Elf trucks, which are no longer in use in Japan. These are equipped with high-powered sound systems, racing themes, and are bigger and taller than those in Manila.

Passad Jeepney

A passad jeepney of Iloilo City.

In Iloilo City, jeepneys called passad are known for being replicas of sedans or pickup trucks. The vehicles' body has a much lower profile which resembles more of a sedan chassis with an elongated body.

Nelson type jeepneys are manufactured in Davao City and are known there as "uso-uso". The designs of these jeepneys are very different from the traditional style. These jeepneys feature modern front grille and body designs, lowered ride height, and industrial quality paint jobs. Newer models of Nelson type jeepneys feature chrome wheels, equipped with radial tubeless tires.

Many local manufacturers are moving to build modern-looking jeepneys such as Hummer lookalikes and oversized Toyota van-style passenger jeepneys with Toyota headlights, hoods and bumpers. Manufacturers in Nueva Ecija also started making jeepneys with fronts resembling AUVs like the Honda CR-V or the Toyota Tamaraw.

The future of jeepneysEdit

Recently, the jeepney industry has faced threats to its survival in its current form. Most of the larger builders have gone bankrupt or have switched to manufacturing other products because of the economic situation, with the smaller builders, forced to go out of business. Passenger jeepneys are also facing increasing restrictions and regulations for pollution control, as they increase traffic volume and consume lots of fuel. A recent study published in a Metro Manila newspaper compared the fuel use of a 16-passenger jeepney to a 54-passenger air-conditioned bus and found that the fuel consumption for both was the same. With major roads clogged by empty jeepneys seeking fares, there is pressure to remove them from the streets of Manila and other cities.

Recent evolution of jeepneys Edit

Although several types of jeepneys have been produced, the jeepneys have only begun evolving recently, in response to environmental and economical concerns.

Philippine jeepney

A jeepney ready for decoration

2nd-generation jeepneys Edit

Fully assembled from refurbished engines, some also have air-conditioning units, most popularly in Makati City. Most of these jeepneys have radically expanded passenger capacities, and are flamboyant and noisy. Many jeeps from this generation are notorious for belching smoke and almost all run on diesel fuel.

3rd-generation jeepneys Edit

These are jeepneys manufactured using new engine components. Many of these come with improved air-conditioning and closely resemble a minibus.

Future generations Edit

The jeepney industry has evolved more quickly in the past 2 years than it has in the past 50 years. Newer jeepneys have the size almost of small bus and is equipped with state-of-the-art vehicle technology (brand-new engine and drivetrain) and Thermo-King brand air-conditioning intended for buses.

Local automobile parts manufacturers are now planning the production of electric jeepneys.[5] Electric jeepneys are being test-run in Makati. In response to calls for reduced greenhouse gas emissions and the rise in oil prices, a limited number of these have been deployed. A final plan to implement electric jeepneys is yet to be announced. Future jeepneys to be locally built will belong in this category.

E-jeepneys Edit

The E-jeepney, short for electrical jeepney, was the brainchild of Green Renewable Independent Power Producers, Inc. or GRIPP in partnership with Mr Robert Puckett, President of Solar Electric Company in the Philippines. These E-jeepneys or minibuses, under the support of Greenpeace started plying Manila / Makati City streets on July 1, 2008. Four E-jeeps were launched by Makati City mayor Jejomar Binay on 2007, with 2 prototypes from Guangzhou, China at P 371,280 each. There are also 10 units of E-jeepney plying various routes in Iloilo City operated by the city government servicing students and city's senior citizens during weekdays for free. "The first public transport system of its kind in South-East Asia," the vehicles can be charged by plugging into an electric socket, using power from biodegradable waste.[6] E-jeepneys would also soon begin commercial operations in Puerto Princesa, Bacolod and Baguio. The 2 new E-jeeps were made by the Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP), while the first 4 units were made in China. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board classified and registered them as LSVs (low-speed vehicles) or 4-wheeled motor vehicles that use alternative fuel such as electricity and running at a maximum speed of 40 km per hour. The E-jeepney carries 17 passengers and can run 120 km on an 8-hour charge from an electric outlet.[7][8]

The E-jeepneys are locally fabricated and assembled in the Philippines by PhUV Inc., the business arm of the Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturers Assn. of the Phils. (MVPMAP). It is equipped with either a 5 kW, 72-volt electric motor or a 7 kW, 84-volt one, either with or without transmission, with front end (hood & fender) or none, side or rear entry and front-facing or center-facing rear seats. It is the first electric vehicle granted an orange license plate by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to operate on Philippine roads.

Since its launch in July 2008, E-jeepneys are used by schools, resorts, theme parks, industrial zones, local government units and other entities such as the Makati LGU, De La Salle Dasmariñas in Cavite, De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde, Plantation Bay in Cebu, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Embarcadero in Bicol, Hacienda San Benito in Lipa City, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Quezon City, the House of Representatives (Congress), the Ilocos Sur provincial government, and soon, the Pasig City LGU.

The biggest mass application of the E-jeepney in the whole of Asia is the Makati Green Route (MGR), where ten E-jeepneys now ply the Legazpi and Salcedo routes for free under the Climate Friendly Cities (CFC) program of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC). A third route, the Rockwell loop, will soon be implemented. Under the CFC program, the E-jeepneys are one of three major components of the program. The other two are a renewable energy plant (a biodigester using biodegradable household wastes) and a terminal/charging station for E-jeepneys. Both of these, the Makati and Puerto Princesa LGUs have invested in to complete the "green" loop.

Practices, etiquette, and parlanceEdit

Jeepneys are often manned by two people, the driver and the conductor (also informally called the "backride").[9] If present, the conductor manages passengers and takes care of fare collection.[10] At designated stops, a dispatcher/barker will usually also be present, calling out route and destination and ushering in passengers.[11] In most vehicles, however, only the driver is present, and passengers have to ask the adjacent passengers to pass on the fare to the driver. The driver in this case, relies on the honesty of the passengers to pay the proper amount of fare, as he has no way of checking how much is paid by each individual.[12]

Jeepneys can be flagged down much like taxis by holding out or waving an arm at the approaching vehicle. Because of the proximity of the passengers in jeepneys, a certain etiquette is followed.[11] Jostling and shoving passengers is considered rude, the elderly and women are always seated, talking loudly and boisterous behavior is discouraged.[10] Children are sometimes allowed to ride for free if they agree to sit on the lap of the accompanying adult (kandungin) and not take up seating space. If the jeepney is full, passengers (only males) will also sometimes cling outside or sit on the roof instead (referred to colloquially as sabit in Tagalog and kabit or kapyot in Cebuano; both meaning 'to hang on with your fingertips'). This practice is dangerous and illegal.[13]

To ask the driver to stop the vehicle, passengers can rap their knuckles on the roof the jeepney, rap a coin on a metal handrail, or simply tell the driver to stop. Modern jeepneys often install buzzers and buttons to make it easier for the passengers.[12] The usual parlance for asking a driver to stop is para, from Spanish 'stop', a word that is rarely used outside of this context in recent days.[14] Another alternative is to say Sa tabi lang po, meaning "(Please pull over) to the side (of the curb)". It is also preferred that the passengers call out the words rather than knock, as evidenced in the common admonition from drivers: Ang katok, sa pinto; ang sutsot, sa aso; ang `para', sa tao (Knocking is for doors; whistling is for dogs; para for humans).[13]

Popular culture Edit

  • When The Amazing Race 5 came to the Philippines in 2004, a segment of Jeepney manufacturing was one of the task involved in Leg 11 of the reality show. The American TV show episode which was broadcasted the same year, was shot at the Malagueña Motors factory in Cavite.[15]
  • A BBC television program in 2011 called Toughest Place to Be a Bus Driver, a London bus driver goes to Manila and had to experience driving a jeepney around the busy streets of city.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lema, Karen (2007-11-20). "Manila's jeepney pioneer fears the end of the road", Reuters. Retrieved on 2008-02-27. 
  3. Otsuka, Keijiro; Masao Kikuchi, Yujiro Hayami (January 1986), "Community and Market in Contract Choice: The Jeepney in the Philippines", Economic Development and Cultural Change 34(2): 279–298, doi 10.1086/451528. 
  4. Pei, Mario (1953). The Story of English. Allen & Unwin, 117. Retrieved on 2008-02-27. 
  5. Valdez, Katrina Mennen A. (2008-01-25). "Partsmakers plan local assembly of electric jeepney", Manila Times. Retrieved on 2008-02-27. 
  6. "E-jeepneys debut on Manila streets" ABS-CBN Interactive.
  7. (2008-07-01). "Electric minibuses start commercial operations in Philippines".
  8. (2008-06-30). "Enforcers to drive E-jeeps". Manila Standard Today.
  9. Jeepney Riding 101 - About the Philippines
  10. 10.0 10.1 Valdez, Katrina Mennen A. (2010-12-05). "Jeepneys in the Philippines", Retrieved on 2010-12-05. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "The Jeepney". Strange Sensibilities (2010-12-05). Retrieved on 2010-12-05.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Unique Jeepney Experience". Great Offers4u
  13. 13.0 13.1 Chapter X: Microcosms, THE JEEPNEY AS MICROCOSM
  14. "Philippine Public Transport & Driving Guidelines". Filipino-Western Relationships.
  15. "The Amazing Race 5." Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2012-04-21.
  16. "BBC Two Programmes - Toughest place to be a..., Bus Driver". BBC UK.

External linksEdit

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