Toyota's New Philippines President Steps into Shoes of Filipino Commuters to Understand Daily Struggle

Okamoto rode around Metro Manila on public transport like a Filipino commuter for a day.
IMAGE FACEBOOK / TMP President's Office / Hiro Okamoto

Toyota Motor Philippines’ newly appointed president Atsuhiro Okamoto spent a day riding Metro Manila’s public transportation systems in an effort to understand the daily struggle of Filipino commuters.

Okamoto only assumed office a few weeks ago and he’s already gone viral online. In a Facebook post, Okamoto explained how he applied the Japanese principle of “Genchi Genbutsu” or “to go and see for yourself” to the Philippine commuting experience.

The practice, which is a big part of Toyota’s philosophy, allows you to get first-hand experience of problems and conditions, which is more valuable than reports and statistics. It’s an avenue to efficiently solve pain points, of which there are many in Philippine public transport.

While on his “Genchi Genbutsu” commuting trip, Okamoto rode a bus, took a round trip of the MRT, rode a jeepney, and waited in (a long) line to ride a UV express. He also took a tricycle ride in Tondo to top off what he calls “a good learning experience.”


After living the life of a Filipino commuter for a day, Okamoto confirmed what many Filipinos already know: “I realize that unlike Japan and Singapore, the Philippines’ current mass transport system is not enough to accommodate the huge number of daily commuters.”

While some might assume that Okamoto would only concern himself with Toyota car sales, the new TMP head is proving that Toyota is looking at the bigger picture and what the car company can do to alleviate everyone’s struggles: “I would like Toyota to take part in this big challenge to upgrade the quality of life for many Filipinos.”

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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