No to Jeepney Phase-Out Coalition
MANILA, Philippines – No to Jeepney Phase Out Coalition and the group Piston are set to conduct a massive transport strike and protest rally against the government’s Jeepney Modernization Program on December 4 and 5.
The group of jeepney drivers and operators call for the revocation of the Transportation Department order on the omnibus franchising guidelines, and the creation of a new modernization program that will not affect their livelihood and will not require them to buy jeepneys that cost over P1-million.
The group also insists they will conduct the transport strike despite the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board or LTFRB’s warning to have their franchise revoked.
“Ganoon din naman eh, kamatayan na rin ang hinusga sa amin kapag phinase out ang mga jeep namin. Kaya tuloy ang laban nman namin kahit anong sabihin ng LTFRB na tatanggalan kami ng prangkisa,” said No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition spokesperson, Misael Melinas.
The group’s principal rally center is the Cubao area, while simultaneous protests will happen across Metro Manila.
The group, however, denied that the protest is part of their move to topple the Duterte administration.
“Kanselahin man nila o hindi iyong klase sa amin tagumpay pa rin. Ang sukatan naman namin ng tagumpay iyong malawakang paglahok ng mga driver at operators sa protesta,” Piston National president, George San Mateo said.
“Kung ang pagkaka-areato sa akin ang magiging kapalit ay ang pagbangon at pagkilos ng lahat ng drivers at operator para ipanalo itong laban na ito, handa po tayo roon mga kasama,” he added.
Meanwhile, the public has expressed negative comments on the transport group’s plan to conduct the transport strike.
“Hassle po sa aming mga estudyante kunwari po kapag naghabol ng requirements tapos ganun magtitigil pasada na naman,”said civil engineering major, Gabriel Torrecampo.
“I-consider naman nila ang mga nahihirapan din kasi kunwari sa amin patapos na rin ang sem and tapos mawawalan na naman ng pasok panigurado ng dalawang araw lugi po kami,” added Torrecampo.
The government, on the other hand, assured there are measures laid out to prevent the adverse effects of the transport strike on the riding public.
“The LTFRB, is correct in saying that the holders of public franchise and conveniences are precluded from joining such action and therefore expect that their participation will come with the legal consequences as far as the award of public convenience is concerned,” Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has previously said he is in favor of the modernization of jeepneys nationwide come 2018. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue