PUJs, UVs to stage weeklong strike

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - The Philippine Star
PUJs, UVs to stage weeklong strike
Drivers of traditional jeepneys wait for passengers at a terminal in Manila on February 3, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Transport groups will hold a week-long strike affecting jeepney and UV Express vehicles starting next week in their bid to convince the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to shelve the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

Representatives from Manibela, Laban TNVS and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) joined forces when they announced details of the March 6-12 strike at a press conference in UP Diliman yesterday.

Next week’s strike is the first major coordinated strike since full passenger capacity resumed in March last year under the new normal.

Manibela national president Mar Valbuena said 40,000 jeepney and UV Express vehicles are expected to join the week-long strike in Metro Manila alone, as they appealed to commuters to join their fight against moves to phase out old units.

Outside the capital region, affected routes are located in Ilocos and Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bacolod, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Bicol, he added.

The groups are opposing the June 30 deadline for drivers and operators to consolidate into corporations or cooperatives, as they slammed the LTFRB for rejecting another extension. They appealed to LTFRB to give them five more years to fulfill the industry consolidation rules and to retain the iconic Filipino jeepney look and upgrade it.

“Government wants to set a deadline to remove our livelihood. It is no joke that a driver who spent years abroad just to buy a single unit of traditional jeepney only for it to be banned,” added Piston’s Almario Lopez in Filipino.

Valbuena said their plight worsened since government started talks in 2017 to implement the program, which he feared would drive drivers and operators into debt just to afford the “modern” units, which cost at least P2 million each.

The groups appealed to President Marcos to oppose the modernization program, noting that they campaigned for him in the last elections.

Marcos should heed their demands because some transport groups backed his presidential bid last year, said National Confederation of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines president Ariel Lim.

They warned LTFRB that they would elevate the case to the Supreme Court and seek a temporary restraining order.

In 2017, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 18 Judge Charito Gonzales turned down a petition by Stop and GO to issue a TRO because there was no injury yet pending its full implementation.

The groups slammed LTFRB for “killing” the iconic traditional jeepney and warned the public that there will be a transport crisis after the June 30 deadline.

But LTFRB technical division head Joel Bolano earlier clarified that traditional units would not be immediately phased out come July 1 as long as they have consolidated into cooperatives.

While 50,000 traditional jeepneys have yet to comply with the modernization program, 96,000 jeepneys or 61 percent of 158,000 traditional units nationwide have consolidated into corporations or cooperatives, according to the LTFRB.


The Department of Transportation (DOTr) must give an update on the implementation of the government’s jeepney modernization program, Sen. Grace Poe said yesterday.

“It’s been a while since we asked for an update. I think it’s high time to give us an update,” Poe told Senate reporters in an interview.

The senator said she would ask the DOTr about the extension of the program to June. “Is June a practical deadline? Is it an achievable deadline? Is it arbitrary? They (DOTr) have been saying that for a long time. That if you (jeepney owners) can’t update their car’s engine to euro 4, they will remove it,” she added.

Under the DOTr’s omnibus franchising guidelines issued on June 19, 2017, only corporations or cooperatives with at least 15 vehicles would be allowed to apply for new route franchises.

The plan to upgrade the public transport system is being delayed again after the LTFRB decided to extend the franchise validity of traditional passenger jeepneys to give operators and drivers more time to form cooperatives that are crucial in the PUV modernization program.

She noted the LTFRB has a lot to explain the June extension of the program. “If they don’t act now, that’s another problem. What can we modernize? It is important to have enough vehicles for our commuting public,” Poe said. – Cecille Suerte Felipe



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with