The problem in the Philippines the more you move away from the city the more people disregard the laws. Especially when it comes to motoring. You can often see people not wearing motorcycle helmets outside of Cebu but as they get closer they put them on. Why? Because they get fined. A friend recently experienced a P1,700 for no helmet and to be honest there is no real excuse if you own one. Personally in the province I prefer not to wear one but I am normally travelling on roads with low transportation traffic and more scenic. If going to the city though helmet goes on from leaving the house.
The passenger jeepney above is a typical passenger jeepney except its been hit by a truck. You probably notice its folded over like a domino being tipped. Reason being that although people extend the vehicles but don’t reinforce. The other issue is that most of these vehicles arrive in 2 or 3 pieces to get through the customs at a lower rate (spares instead of a vehicle). In the UK they just wouldn’t be classed as road legal but here its everyday transportation. Now in the cities I think the risk is fairly minimal purely down to the congestion and the speed all the vehicles are moving. Couple that with a reduced amount of heavy commercial traffic the risks have to be at least 80% less than that of the provinces. The problem you get in the provinces is that traffic just moves up and down. When I say that I mean there is a left and a right side but that is pretty much it the lanes are pretty much disregarded a two lane road suddenly becomes four or five lanes as motorcycles,taxis, multicabs,jeepneys and every other type of vehicle squeeze into any gap. Undertaking is normal and generally looking in a mirror is normally done to see people sat in your vehicle. The rest of the time its pretty much disregarded, I think this is due to the way people don’t give warning of pulling over or stopping. At night a lot of vehicles have no lights. So looking back is a bit of a luxury as you don’t have time to most of the time too much going on up front. Which is why you hear a constant “beep beep” which is people overtaking telling you they are there and passing. Although we have a multicab ourselves we haven’t used it for about a year and going to sell it on. Purely because we don’t use it, its served the purpose we got it for and now its just excess. Last year a seen a similar vehicle in a crash and its pretty obvious that cutting and rewelding these vehicles doesn’t do it any good as the one I seen the front end must have ended up less than a 1ft long as it had been compacted like a tin can. I have no doubt anyone in the vehicle at the time would have been killed.
So do I recommend a multicab? I think its everyone’s own decision to make and budget. Location is important as being up in the mountains for example your not getting much traffic on the road so less likely to be at risk of a crash and the gearing on these little vehicles as well as various 4 wheel drive options can get you out of most situations. They are reliable and need little maintenance. Safety is my own real issue with them. No doubt getting a vehicle that is “complete” when it arrives would offer better safety as relying on the rewelded joints just doesn’t inspire confidence.