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Transport group to hold another ‘tigil pasada’ a week before Simbang Gabi


December 11, 2023 | 7:11pm

MANILA, Philippines — Weeks before the public utility vehicle (PUV) consolidation deadline, transport group Piston will hold another transport strike on December 14 to 15.

The protest aims to oppose the December 31 deadline for PUV consolidation, which the group argues will strip jeepney drivers and operators of their livelihoods.

The group urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to entirely scrap the PUV modernization program, which mandates jeepney operators to transition to modern units priced at P2.8 million each.

RELATED: Piston slams June 30 jeepney phaseout order, says minibuses worth P2.8-M burying operators in debt

“Ito ba ang pamasko sa atin ng DOTr (Department of Transportation) at LTFRB? Ang pagkawala ng kabuhayan ng libo-libong tsuper at operator? Mahiya naman sila. Andami nilang pamilyang gugutumin pagpasok ng bagong taon,” Piston National President Mody Floranda said in a statement.

(Is this the DOTr and LTFRB’s idea of a Christmas gift? Stripping thousands of drivers and operators of their livelihoods? They should be ashamed. Their actions will lead to hunger for many families as the new year approaches.)

Before the December 31 deadline, traditional jeepneys and UV Express drivers and operators must merge into cooperatives or corporations. Those who don’t comply will be instructed to cease operations as mandated by the PUV modernization program.

“Ano ba ang pumipigil kay Guadiz (LTFRB chief Teofilo Guadiz III)? Isang memorandum circular lang nila, mababasura na ang deadline. Kung gusto nila, kami na ang mag-draft para pipirmahan na lang niya,” Floranda said.

(What’s holding Guadiz back? Just one memorandum circular from them, and the deadline will be nullified. If they want, we’ll even draft it ourselves for him to just sign.)

On November 20, Guadiz said that drivers and operators don’t necessarily need the consolidation process to be finalized by December 31. A simple filing should suffice to be recognized as consolidated.

“By the mere filing, puwede ka na ma-consider as consolidated (By the mere filing, you can be considered consolidated),” Guadiz said in a press briefing.

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