Transport groups begin 2-week strike vs jeepney phaseout

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Transport groups begin 2-week strike vs jeepney phaseout
MANIBELA president Mar Valbuena join forces with PISTON president Mody Floranda and other striking drivers and operators, December 15, 2023.
Released / No to PUV Phaseout Coalition

MANILA, Philippines — The two-week strike that starts today and runs until Dec. 29 will push through as the yearend deadline to phase out traditional jeepneys in the country draws near, transport group Manibela president Mar Valbuena said.

“We hope that before the end of the week, President Marcos will hear our pleas… I call on our fellow drivers and operators to make a stand until President Marcos hears us and implement maximum tolerance on the streets,” Valbuena said yesterday.

Over 60,000 public utility vehicles could be phased out as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) officially issued an order revoking the franchises of units that do not comply with the consolidation requirement.

“What the LTFRB gave us was a headache because starting Jan. 1, our franchises will be revoked if we fail to consolidate,” Valbuena said.

Under Memorandum Circular 2023-051, all provisional authorities issued to individual operators and for routes without consolidated transport service entities will be deemed revoked by Jan. 1, 2024.

Mody Floranda, president of transport group PISTON, said the country could face a transport crisis if the yearend consolidation deadline is imposed.

Valbuena said drivers and operators would gather at 8 a.m. at the Monumento Circle in Caloocan City. “Those coming from the Camanava, we will stage a protest and there will be strike centers nationwide, especially in the National Capital Region, Region 3, Region 4, Calabarzon, Visayas and Region 1.”

He also said members of other transport groups will join the transport strike.

“At least 85 percent of members of Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations already joined us and 65 percent of Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines. It is not important whether you are from Manibela, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON). This is a fight (for) drivers and operators,” he said.

The LTFRB signed the memorandum on Dec. 14, the first day of the transport strike of PISTON.              

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