MANILA - Major transport groups will push through with a nationwide transport strike on September 30 to protest the proposed phaseout of jeepneys and UV Express service vehicles next year, as part of the government's Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) modernization program, a transport leader said Sunday.
In a media forum in Manila, Efren De Luna, national president of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), blasted the program.
"Ang isyu natin ay PUV modernization na puro panlilinlang. One hundred percent na lehitimong asosasyon ay nangagarap ipagpatuloy ang kanilang buhay, dito po papatayin kami," De Luna lamented.
(Our issue is that the PUV modernization is all lies. One hundred percent of legitimate associations dream of continuing with their lives, this will kill us.)
One of the issues raised by De Luna was the government's inability to finance the program.
"Paano kami magkakaroon ng pagkakataon na makautang sa gobyerno, eh wala namang ipapatuang ang gobyerno. Ang DOTr [Department of Transportation] at LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board] wala silang direktang maipapautang para ipambili namin ng bagong sasakyan," he said.
(How can we get a loan from the government when the government has nothing to loan us. The DOTr and the LTFRB have nothing to directly lend to us so we can buy new vehicles.)
De Luna continued: "Ang masakit dito, halimbawa, nakapagtayo na kami ng cooperative, ang pinagtataka namin sa LTFRB at DOTr, bakit kusang loob na pinasu-surrender sa amin 'yung mga indibidwal na prangkisa namin? Wala kaming katiyakan na maibabalik 'yung prangkisa namin."
(What pains us is that for example, we've set up a cooperative, we don't understand why the LTFRB and the DOTr want us to voluntarily surrender our individual franchises. We have no guarantee that our franchises will be given back to us.)
The transport strike will be spearheaded by ACTO, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON), and Stop and Go.