'Dapat mag-usap-usap muna': DOTr chief appeals to transport groups to hold dialogue before planned strike

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2023 08:11 PM

MANILA - Transportation Chief Jaime Bautista is appealing to transport groups to sit down with government authorities to iron out their sector’s issues. 

This, shortly after the groups announced that they are planning to stage a week-long transport strike to protest the government’s controversial jeepney modernization program.

“You know siguro dapat pag-isipan nating mabuti ‘yung pag-stop ng operations. Dapat mag-usap-usap muna. Let’s understand what the issues are kasi baka hindi tayo nagkakaintindihan,” Bautista said, according to the Presidential Communications Office.

“I think it is important that we have a dialogue between the operators, LTFRB and this time we will have representatives from the DOTR. Ang problema yata hindi nagkaroon ng representatives ang DOTR doon sa mga discussions para maclarify kung anuman ang mga issues,” Bautista said, adding that he has already tasked his Undersecretary for Road Sector to coordinate with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and with the operators on the matter.

Bautista meanwhile allayed the concerns of PUV drivers and operators ahead of the scheduled expiration of the franchises of traditional jeepney units, saying that they are giving them ample time to comply with the modernization program.

“Ang phase out mangyayari yan sa mga areas na halos naimplement na ang modernization program,” Bautista clarified.

“Pero doon sa mga areas na alam naman natin talagang mahirap kaagad kumuha ng mga bagong equipment ay bibigyan natin ng pagkakataon ‘yung mga operators na mag-join muna doon sa mga cooperatives na mag-consolidate para matulungan din sila na makakuha ng mga bagong equipment. In fact we are working closely with DBP and Landbank to help them finance the acquisition of modernized equipment,” he continued.