HomeLatest NewsFilipino Fans Accuse The Government Of Using SEVENTEEN’s Joshua As A Cover-up

Filipino Fans Accuse The Government Of Using SEVENTEEN’s Joshua As A Cover-up

The actual issues go much deeper.

SEVENTEEN‘s Joshua decided to spend his Chuseok holiday vacation with his mother in the Philippines and had a mishap involving overpaying for a taxi that fans originally found hilarious.

SEVENTEEN’s Joshua | @joshu_acoustic/Instagram

The artist originally told the story behind his trip to fans on live stream and included how he ended up paying three times the usual amount for a taxi.

We got into a taxi, thinking that they would accept cards. But it was cash-only. I panicked so much. The taxi driver asked for like a thousand something in the Philippine Peso, and I later found out that I had paid like three times more. Gosh.

— Joshua

After the story went viral, the Philippine authority in charge of regulating public transportation, the LTFRB (also known as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board), issued a warning against drivers of such vehicles. A few days later, they also announced that they would be tracking down the taxi driver that overcharged Joshua, despite the latter not asking for this.

While Joshua’s story may be close to being “resolved”, many fans claim that the government is using him as a cover-up to distract from the significant issues taking place within the public transportation system in the Philippines.

According to the Asian Development Bank, the transport sector’s main challenges include poor road networks, lack of governance, and lack of quality urban transport methods. In addition, many say public transport workers, including taxi drivers, are often pushed into challenging circumstances leading them to overcharge rides, as with Joshua.

Taxis outside an airport in the Phillipines. | NAIA-MIAA

Fans also claim that the government is reporting on the issue only because Joshua’s fame caused an international spotlight on the country and that the average citizen in the Philippines faces transportation issues daily. This sort of celebrity cover-up only diverts from the actual problem that needs attention.

More issues with the public transport system include a lack of buses and unnecessary bus bans, and an old and out-of-date railway system, according to Rappler. Some of the country’s train cars have been active since the system was launched over 35 years ago.

Filipino citizens walking on a train track after a glitch caused the train to stop. | Rappler

While Joshua getting scammed was unfortunate, many netizens say that the government’s actions against this sole taxi driver will cause more harm than good and are simply “putting a band-aid” on the much larger situation as a whole without solving anything.

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