MANILA, Philippines — Public utility drivers and operators parked their vehicles on Monday to protest against the planned program of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which they say, will negatively affect their livelihood.
Under DOTr’s Modernization Program, hybrid or electronic jeepney models will replace the old units.
But the drivers and operators insist that it will be better to just rehabilitate old jeepneys instead of buying a new one which is worth one million pesos.
They are also seeking an audience with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss their concerns.
“If they won’t be moved by our protest, and force, the more we will not be moved in this fight. Because this program will kill our livelihood,” No to Jeepney Phase-Out Coalition Chapter president Celso Crisostomo said.
Despite their transport strike, travel has not been paralized as many jeepney drivers still chose to operate.
Based on Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) monitoring, from the 62 vehicles on standby, only 7 were dispatched.
About 750 passengers were also given free rides.
Meanwhile, the LTFRB plans to file complaints against the leader of transport group Piston George San Mateo due to his repeated conduct of transport strike despite dialogues.
Last June, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade allowed the start of the PUV Modernization Program.
It targets to phaseout all old jeepney units by year 2020. – Joan Nano | UNTV News and Rescue
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