Wheels of karma hit dishonest drivers

Unlike now, there were still few modernized public utility jeepneys plying Cebu City streets in 2021. One transportation cooperative based in the city could be considered as one of the kings (or queens) of the road last year.

The cooperative’s drivers and passenger assistance officers (another name for conductor, a collector of fares) received a regular salary.

Drivers though had a quota: Each of them was required to earn at least P8,000 every day amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The amount didn’t faze most of the drivers at the time. Year 2021 was a gold rush, or in the middle part of it, at least. It was a time when employees (obviously, those who survived the pandemic-induced retrenchment spree) started returning to their workplaces. This transportation cooperative raked in lots of moolah. Perhaps, it was the same with other cooperatives up and running at the time.

Some drivers earned around P16,000 in just a day.

Did they remit all the earnings? Here’s a clue: The quota per day was only P8,000.

Got an answer?

That’s right. Some drivers did not remit all the earnings. The 50 percent of the earnings was split between the driver and the conductor.

It was not known when this scheme started. Regardless, this dishonest scheme was eventually discovered by the transportation cooperative’s management. It was also unclear how it was discovered, but at some point an evil deed can’t be hidden forever.

The transport cooperative eventually stopped giving salaries, and it started to rent out its units to drivers who could afford to pay the rent.

A Cebuano-Visayan idiomatic expression is apt to describe the drivers’ situation: “Walay aso nga makumkom.” A rough English translation of this wisdom could be: “Not a person can hold a wisp of smoke forever and ever,” which could be interpreted as hiding a lie is always easy until it is discovered.

Drivers must believe that karma has wheels that can run over their lives — at least on the spiritual road where there are no traffic enforcers.

P.S. This information came from a modernized jeepney driver of another transportation coop who pays a daily rent of P4,000 for the unit he’s driving. He also has to spend another P4,000 for the unit’s fuel.

This writer forgot to ask how he managed to get the information and if he was one of those drivers involved in the income-siphoning scheme.