'Magnificent 7' transport groups file intervention to back PUV modernization program

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
'Magnificent 7' transport groups file intervention to back PUV modernization program
This photo shows Pasang Masda filing a petition before the Supreme Court.
Philippine News Agency / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Transport groups led by Pasang Masda on Monday filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC), opposing a previous petition to halt the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Transport groups asked the SC to allow them to “intervene” on the temporary restraining order (TRO) previously filed by transport group’s PISTON and Manibela.

“Wherefore, it is respectfully prayed that the intervenors be allowed to intervene in this action,” the petition read. 

Aside from Pasang Masda, among the petitioners are: Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization, and Liga ng mga Transportation at mga Operator ng Pilipinas.

The transport groups who filed the petition are from the so-called "Magnificent 7," who continuously expressed its support for the PUVMP.

PISTON and other transport groups earlier filed a petition before the SC on December 20, which assailed the constitutionality of the PUVMP. They also sought to stop the PUV consolidation deadline in the same petition.

The SC, however, did not issue a TRO to halt the implementation of the PUV consolidation and the PUVMP, which prompted the transport groups to file another petition on December 28.

Despite the SC's ruling, Manibela said that its members will continue to ply routes until the SC comes up with a final decision about the petition. 

Meanwhile, in a press conference in Malacañang on Monday, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board chief Teofilo Guadiz III said that they have submitted their comment on PISTON's petition.

January 31 grace period

Although the jeepney consolidation deadline has lapsed, unconsolidated jeepneys and UV epxress owners are still allowed to operate until January 31. However, those who did not undergo the government’s consolidation before the deadline have no chance to consolidate, according to the Department of Transportation’s Office of Transportation Cooperatives.

Over the weekend, Manibela and PISTON said that they will hold protest action on Tuesday, to once again oppose the PUVMP days ahead of the end of the month-long grace period for PUVs.

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