SC urged to resolve petition vs PUVMP

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
SC urged to resolve petition vs PUVMP
Photos show modern jeepneys and traditional jeepneys as they wait for passengers along Escoda Street in Manila on April 13, 2024.
Ryan Baldemor / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — Transport groups have asked the Supreme Court (SC) to finally rule on the petition against the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) even as the two-day strike starts today and the consolidation deadline set by the government ends on April 30.

Manibela president Mar Valbuena yesterday said strike centers will be held in various areas in the country to oppose the phaseout of traditional jeepneys.

“What is important for us during the transport protests is to express our grievances in the different strike centers and to call for the return of the five-year validity of the franchises instead of the government threatening us,” Valbuena told The STAR.

Commuters spend time waiting for public transport even without the scheduled strike today, he noted.

“Even without the strike, the long queuing of commuters to avail of public transportation is a normal experience of our passengers as the government continues to push for the (PUVMP) program. It will only further worsen the current situation of the drivers, operators and the public,” he added.

The consolidation will only benefit companies from China with the flooding of imported minibuses used in the PUVMP, Valbuena said.

For his part, Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) president Mody Floranda urged the high court to finally issue its decision against the PUVMP.

“We hope that the government will finally acknowledge the importance of the services given by the public transports, our jeepneys. And second, we are asking the Supreme Court to issue a resolution amid the fate of our sector,” Floranda said.

The SC has yet to issue a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the PUVMP, as petitioned by Piston on Dec. 20, 2023.

Floranda expressed optimism that the House of Representatives will issue a resolution after it conducted five hearings on the PUVMP.

He also appealed for understanding amid the transport strike and caravan.

“We are appealing to our commuters (for understanding) as we are doing this not only for the transport sector but for the interest of all,” Floranda said.

Based on the lower chamber’s hearing, the fare will go up to between P30 and P40 with the impending phaseout of traditional jeepneys, he claimed.

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