Davao’s Honesty Jeepney: creativity and honesty amid COVID-19 pandemic

A video went viral last March showing re-purposed Shell Rimula engine oil plastic canisters, which were used as container for passengers’ fare. In the video, you will hear a passenger jokingly saying, “Bawal mangupit (stealing is not allowed).”

VernaAbril - honesty jeep (2)

In the Honesty Jeepney, passengers of this jeep put their fare in the containers instead of the usual way of having jeepney passengers pass their payment from one person to another until it reaches the driver.

This creativity was the result of the social distancing that was strictly implemented in Davao City. Physical contact was minimized to prevent the transfer of the virus, especially to crowded public transport. Because of strict social distancing rules, only six to 10 passengers were allowed at a time. Jeepneys were still able to do their usual business in Davao City until April 4, when the ECQ was implemented.

VernaAbril - honesty jeep (1)

Jefferson Camasin, the netizen who uploaded the viral video, 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. He and other passengers praised the jeepney driver and paid the correct fare.

You can watch the video here.


Honesty system is practiced in coffee shops and other establishments in the Philippines. Everything is done through self-service in this system. Customers  list down the
items they are buying, leave the corresponding payment, and take their goods. They can even collect their change from the pool of money available on the counter.

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