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February 28, 2020

Toyota Motor PH President Now Knows: Our Public Transportation Sucks

Metro Manila’s mass transport system sucks. Almost everyone who uses a jeepney or MRT to get to and from work knows it, but it’s just different when the observation comes from no less than the president of the country’s biggest carmaker.

During his first week as the new Toyota Motor Philippines’s President, Atsuhiro “Hiro” Okamoto decided to see and feel for himself the struggles of a Filipino commuter. For that, he rode a bus, took a round trip of the MRT, rode the jeepney, rode the UV Express (complete with the long wait times), and took a tricycle ride to Tondo.

In the end, he said that the experience was a good learning experience for him. Quoting Mr. Okamoto, “I realize that unlike Japan or Singapore, the Philippines’s current mass transport system is not enough to accommodate the huge number of daily commuters. I would like Toyota to take part in this big challenge to upgrade the quality of life for many Filipinos.”

Part of “Genchi Genbutsu” (literally, “Go and See”), it’s integral to the Toyota Way philosophy of directly observing a location, and its conditions in order to understand and solve any problems faster and more effectively.

Okamoto-san is no stranger to Philippine road and traffic conditions. Before his assignment as Toyota Motor Philippines President, he was the Executive Vice-President of Toyota Motor Asia Pacific. One of their major activities he participated in was the “5 Continents Drive.” This global drive which sought to understand how Toyota vehicles are used by their customers on a daily basis drove through Metro Manila, Bulacan, Tarlac, La Union, Baguio, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, and then back to Manila in 2019.


  1. Hi sir, congratulations for being installed as new president of Toyota Philippines. Under your tutelage sir, I hope Toyota here in the country will be able to supply more recent engines of some models the automaker sell here. An example is the Toyota LC Prado. I hope it will be available with the 2.8 turbodiesel engine here from the fortuner. This is the same engine it already has in other countries. Thank you sir.

  2. Must be planning to run for congress

  3. Does Okamoto-san also realize how the lack of already-basic safety features like back up cameras and collision and lane change warning systems on even higher end models that a car manufacturer sells... SUCKS, TOO????!!!!!

  4. It is the same sh1tty ride options that drove Toyota sales and ph car sales in general before 2018 upwards. As travelling became a pain, people bought cars as solutions for commuting became hopeless.

  5. Selling cars that scrimp on safety features like back up cameras and lane assist also sucks. Maybe he should look into that too.


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