Three out of ten?
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - March 22, 2019 - 12:00am

A public bus company will no longer rely on the "honesty system" in collecting fares, since it was discovered that thirty percent of the passengers did not pay. The trial lasted only a week. Truly, what business will continue to operate an honesty system, if three out of ten customers will not pay? They will now revert back to the old system where a conductor goes around collecting fares from everyone. Obviously, the Philippines is not yet ready for such a system where honesty is paramount.

It was also tried at a police station in the Manila Police District. After six months, it has closed shop for the very same reason; people just taking and not paying. Ironically, an aide at the station even made off with several thousand pesos. The MPD chose not to press charges. Go figure. So if someone else still plans to put up a store and use the honesty system, forget it. You’ll be hard-pressed to make money, and even be disappointed in the process.

The only place where the honesty system seems to be succeeding is Batanes. A café has been depending on the system for years, and is still in business. Tourists flock to it, to see the system and even try it, leaving the right amount and even getting the right amount of change for their purchases. That says a lot about Batanes, and how it makes honest people out of everyone. I wonder why that can be achieved in Batanes and not in any other part of the country? Forget Metro Manila.

Is it any wonder why certain politicians are harping that honesty is not relevant in elections? That voters do not necessarily go for an honest candidate? I guess that message is for the three out of ten Filipinos who will vote this May. The failure of the honesty system in the abovementioned ventures seem to show that we cannot trust ourselves. We still need people to collect fares in public transport. We still need security guards in almost every establishment. I do not see these in many developed countries. Definitely nowhere near that of Singapore, despite some likening the country to it.

There is a saying in the local vernacular, that if you cannot be honest in the little things, what more the larger ones. If that is true, if we could just use the results of the bus company, thirty percent of the population, at least in Metro Manila, cannot be trusted to be honest in anything. That’s a lot. Imagine three out of ten doctors, or three out of ten engineers, and other examples, are dishonest. Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call. A call for us to get our act together, and start making honest persons out of everyone.


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with