Transport strikers mull Christmas campout at Malacañang

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Transport strikers mull Christmas campout at Malacañang
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 — Striking drivers and operators are mulling to spend Christmas in front of Malacañang amid the Dec. 31 deadline set by the government for the phaseout of the traditional jeepneys, transport group Manibela president Mar Valbuena said.

“The transport strike will go on this week and it is possible that it will be extended even after Christmas. We are contemplating to march toward Malacañang to spend our Christmas there while our President is eating delicious ham. The government gives us different challenges involving our source of livelihood,” he said.

Members of Manibela started the two-week transport strike on Monday 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.

Valbuena said other transport groups and cooperatives are expected to join the strike. “Even cooperatives who were forced to consolidate will join our transport strike,” Valbuena said.

At the same time, Valbuena criticized the Department of Transportation and the LTFRB for using President Marcos in forcing the drivers and operators to join the consolidation. He also criticized Marcos for his failure to fulfill his campaign promises.

“How are the promises of the President to the majority who voted for him? We want to hear a concrete solution instead of pride,” Valbuena said.

“Here in the NCR, more or less 50,000 jeepneys will be affected. It has a big impact as passengers are already affected even if it is only a 10 percent reduction of jeepneys,” he noted.

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

The LTFRB Board signed the MC on Dec. 14, the first day of the transport strike of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide. — Mayen Jaymalin, Mark Ernest Villeza, Nillicent Bautista

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