As strike looms, Marcos says jeepney phaseout 'necessary' but can be improved

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
As strike looms, Marcos says jeepney phaseout 'necessary' but can be improved
Individuals ride a traditional jeepney. Groups representing jeepneys and UV Express drivers and operators will hold a weeklong strike in Metro Manila starting March 6 to underscore their opposition to the government's transport modernization program.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said the government drive to phase out traditional jeepneys is necessary, but acknowledged in the face of announcements by transports groups of a week-long strike in protest, that implementation could be improved.

Transport groups, including Manibela and PISTON, warn that the minibuses that government wants them to use are too expensive and that financial support is not enough. They said that consolidating under cooperatives and corporations could leave them without a franchise and deep in debt.

"In my opinion, the modernization program really needs to be done. But it seems the implementation of the program is not good," Marcos said in Filipino.

He added that the government must implement the program "in a different way."

The chief executive also said he hopes that the planned transport strike from March 6 to 12 will not push through. Transport groups said they will hold a week-long strike to convince the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board suspend the phaseout of traditional jeepneys and UV Express vehicles.

The transport strike is the first major coordinated strike since full passenger capacity returned in March 2022.

"I think we can talk to transport groups and tell them that we will change the implementation so that they will not be burdened that much," Marcos said in Filipino.

"I’m hoping that with the initiatives we’re thinking of, we can convince them to not go on a strike because many will suffer," he added.

The LTFRB said last week that individual operators of traditional jeepneys will no longer be allowed to operate after June 30 unless they join a corporation or cooperative. Only those that do may continue to operate under provisional authority that will be effective until December 31.

Those opposed to the program say drivers and operators cannot afford new models, which cost around P2.4 million to P2.8 million per unit.

Electric vehicles

The program seeks to phase out old jeepneys that have been blamed for traffic congestion and pollution, and replace them with newer and bigger vehicles powered by cleaner Euro-4 engines.

Marcos said not all jeepneys are dilapidated and those that are well maintained might be allowed to stay on the road.

"The modernization program is also the first step toward electric vehicles. We will eventually move there but we need to fix the supply of renewables," he said.

Renewable energy only had a 21% share of the country’s energy mix in 2020. The government is eyeing to increase the share of renewables to 35% by 2030 and to 50% by 2040.

The chief executive stressed that a timetable for the introduction of e-vehicles, adding that it is "not urgent" as of now because the government still needs to build an infrastructure for modern transport.

vuukle comment



  • 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!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with