Like most of the world's large cities, Manila the capital of the Philippines, is crowded and congested.
GV: Jeepneys is busy street in Manila.
SV: passengers getting onto Jeepney bus
TV: customised Jeepney on highway in Manila.
CU AND GV: brightly painted Jeepney with optional extras driven through streets. (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR: of Sarao plant where Jeepneys are built.
SV AND GV INTERIOR: workers on assembly line inside plant. (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT TO SV: young worker hand tempering body plates.
LV: worker welding Jeepney framework together with fellow worker ???ut bodywork together. (4 shots)
CU AND SV: Japanese diesel engine being lowered into vehicle. (2 shots)
SV AND CU: workers doing customised paintwork on Jeepney body. (3 shots)
SCU: worker lowering mascots into place on bonnet.
SV ZOOM IN: workers completing final options.
CU: horse mascot on bonnet ZOOM OUT TO completed Jeepney.
GV AND ZOOM IN: top of range Jeepney complete with horse mascots, tasless, mirrors and ornaments.
GV AND CU: public service Jeepney driving in street.
TRAVEL SHOTS: Jeepney in streets, seen through window of car. (2 shots)
GV: Gaily-decorated Jeepneys in streets. (4 shots)
JOYCE: "In a country where the average person earns little more than a dollar a day, public transport has to be cheap. The Jeepney certainly fits the bill. A journey of five kilometres (3.12 miles) costs just five cents. In the 1930s, most transport in the Philippines was four-legged. But the second world war changed all that. When the guns finally fell silent, a mass of war surplus littered the country in particular, thousands of jeeps in various states of repair, as well as a glut of cheap parts. The first primitive Jeepney was pieced together from cannibalised U.S. war surplus in 1946.
"This is the home of Sarao Jeepneys on the outskirts of Manila. Sarao is the largest of four big Jeepney manufacturers. Unfortunately for the factory owners the days of cheap American war surplus parts have long since gone. These days, everything from the steel chassis to the smallest screw, is produced in the Philippines.
Only the diesel engines are imported, second hand, from Japan. The Jeepney bodywork is of hand-beaten galvanised iron welded onto a framework of thin steel rods. Under the skilled hands of Sarao's two hundred and fifty workers, the Jeepneys take shape with astonishing speed. At this labour-intensive production line, they turn out eight Jeepneys a day.
"The engine and the body-work are only half the jeepney story, for it seems that no Jeepney can take to the streets without its plumage. The skill and speed of the self-taught Jeepney painters and decorators is extraordinary. Swarming over a new model like ants, they can turn a utilitarian vehicle into a minor work of art in a matter of minutes. Everything is tailor-made to fit the whims of the new owner. It takes around twenty-five days to complete a Jeepney, from the first steel chassis girder to the final mirror. A top-of-the range jeepney complete with all the necessary horse and mirror options, now costs around for and a half thousand dollars (2,250 pounds). In the early sixties, they could be had for less than a thousand dollars (500 pounds). There are twenty thousand Jeepneys in Manila alone, thousands more in other parts of Philippines.
The Jeepney's future is assured and not just in the cities. Throughout the Philippines, on rugged dirt roads, you can see the jeepney working hard, laden down with passengers, agricultural produce, chickens and pigs. Other cities may have their double-decker buses or their fast commuter trains, but in Manila, the jeepney is king, a unique solution to the problem of cheap mass transportation."
REPORTER: TONY JOYCE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Like most of the world's large cities, Manila the capital of the Philippines, is crowded and congested. Faced with the problem of providing cheap mass transport for its four million inhabitants, the government has evolved its own solution - the Jeepney. The Australian Broadcasting Commission's Tony Joyce reports.