Transport Groups to Hold Strike on September 30
Major transport groups will stage a nationwide transport strike on September 30 to demonstrate against the proposed jeepney and UV Express vehicle phaseout next year.
According to ABS-CBN, the proposed plans are part of the government's Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program that was spearheaded by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) two years ago. Efren De Luna, national president of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), is against the project, citing government deception as one of their main reasons for opposing the program.
"Ang isyu natin ay PUV modernization na puro panlilinlang. One-hundred percent na lehitimong asosasyon ay nangagarap ipagpatuloy ang kanilang buhay, dito po papatayin kami (Our issue is that the PUV modernization is all lies. One hundred percent of legitimate associations dream of continuing with their lives, this will kill us)," De Luna lamented.
De Luna expressed concern over the government's capacity to finance the said program, and added that they weren't offered any loans to help them buy the new, modernized vehicles.
"Paano kami magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na makautang sa gobyerno, eh wala namang ipaputang ang gobyerno. Ang DOTr (Department of Transportation) at LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) wala silang direktang maipapautang para ipambili namin ng bagong sasakyan (How can we get a loan from the government when the government has nothing to loan us. The DOTr and the LTFRB have nothing to directly lend to us so we can buy new vehicles)," he said.
De Luna continued: "Ang masakit dito, halimbawa, nakapagtayo na kami ng cooperative, ang pinagtataka namin sa LTFRB at DOTr, bakit kusang loob na pinasu-surrender sa amin 'yung mga indibidwal na prangkisa namin? Wala kaming katiyakan na maibabalik 'yung prangkisa namin (What pains us is that for example, we've set up a cooperative, we don't understand why the LTFRB and the DOTr want us to voluntarily surrender our individual franchises. We have no guarantee that our franchises will be given back to us)."
ACTO, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON), and Stop and Go transport groups will lead the strike on Monday, next week.
The PUV Modernization Program was launched by the Department of Transportation in 2017. Its main goal is to make the country's public transportation system efficient and environmentally friendly by the year 2020.