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Commuter, transport groups issue unity statement backing Robredo-Pangilinan tandem

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Commuter, transport groups issue unity statement backing Robredo-Pangilinan tandem
Commuters line up for free rides along the EDSA bus carousel station in Ortigas yesterday. Passengers opted for bus rides as the operations of the MRT-3 remain suspended until Easter Sunday.
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Almost 30 groups representing commuters and transport workers came out Monday in support of the election tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan. 

In a unity statement issued Tuesday morning, the groups said that Robredo and Pangilinan "are the ones we see capable of building a government that will faithfully lift the lives of all drivers, operators, and commuters."

"As a commuter, Leni knows and has experienced the pains caused by poor management of public transportation. Her plan includes having a more humane and equitable program to raise the level of public transportation where nobody is disadvantaged," the statement reads in Filipino. 

"The public transportation sector was one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, many jeepney drivers have so far not been able to return to their routes and thousands of commuters continue to suffer due to the lack of proper planning for public transportation."

The groups pointed to the specific platforms of the tandem for the transport sector, including:

  • Increasing the number of passing public transport through a proper service contracting program and inclusive franchising system.
  • Funding of protected and connected bike lanes and secure bicycle parking.
  • Safe and walkable spaces for passengers and pedestrians.
  • Inclusive crossing and boarding for the disabled, pregnant, and seniors.
  • Better terminals and rails.
  • Trees and plants on the road that will provide shade and comfort to everyone.

The statement was signed by, among others, the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide or Piston, the National Confederation of Transportworkers Union, AltMobility PH, Lifecycles PH, the Alliance of Pavia Iloilo Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association, the Bohol Island Operators & Drivers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, the Banawa Transport Cooperative, and the Move as One transport coalition. 

In recent weeks, transport groups have bemoaned what they say is the unsolved transport crisis in Metro Manila, whose symptoms are beginning to show once more with some industries requiring their workers to return on-site. 

Over the past few years, the vice president has been increasingly critical of what she says are the Duterte administration's "failed car-centric" policies. 

“We need a better balance for a better normal: More bus rapid transits, better service contracts for transport workers, a just transition for transport workers, protected bike lanes, bike racks, safe pathways, better bus stops, and railways for our long-term needs,” Robredo was quoted as saying before the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry for its 47th Philippine Business Conference and Expo in November. 

“We will prioritize building nationwide active transport infrastructure, starting with the most traffic-congested areas. Our goal is to make roads for people, not cars."

2022 ELECTIONS

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

VICE PRESIDENT LENI ROBREDO

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