The problem is not really a lack of ingenuity. There are, I'm sure, plenty of smart Filipinos who are capable of designing modern vehicles – but why bother? Any business that puts its head above the parapet will be pounced on by the BIR and destroyed. Without connections and grease, you have no way of getting the myriad licenses and rubber stamps required for getting a vehicle onto the road.
By being deliberately useless, jeepneys and their operators can stay under the radar. They cannot be milked for taxes and bribes because they are quite obviously unprofitable – a huge money sink that produces nothing except pollution.
Government will not "step in" because they are not smart enough to understand that a well-functioning economy will put more wealth into their own pockets than a corrupt, inefficient one.
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