PUV operators in transport strike face franchise cancellation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2017 06:23 PM

MANILA - Franchises of jeepney operators who joined the transport strike Monday will be cancelled, according to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Atty. Aileen Lizada, LTFRB board member, said a memo by the agency's MC 2011-004 does not allow operators to stop operations to protest any government policy.

"We know the routes, we know the plate numbers, at alam po namin kung ano'ng cooperatives ang involved. Definitely they will be held accountable," she said.

Lizada added that just last Friday, they already filed cases against transport group leader George San Mateo for staging a transport strike last February 2017.

Monday's protest was led by the Stop and Go Coalition of Jun Magno. This is the group's third strike in protest of the phaseout of jeepneys under the government's PUV modernization program.

"Alam na alam po 'yan ni Jun Magno, h'wag sila masosorpresa kung may makikita silang... Magkakansel po tayo ng mga prangkisa ngayon," Lizada warned.

Stranded commuters occupy the outer lane of Commonwealth Avenue as some jeepneys stage a 2-day strike against the government's modernization program on Monday. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

The LTFRB official said the routes affected by the protest were Commonwealth, Litex, SM Fairview, Sandiganbayan and Sta. Ana in Quezon City.

Despite this, Lizada said the transport strike only had minimal effect as many drivers and operators in the metro and the regions did not join Stop and Go Coalition's protest. 

Lizada is hoping that the protesting transport groups would realize that the PUV modernization program of the government is for the good of the riding public.

Stop and Go Coalitions' Magno earlier said government aid is not enough to help the drivers and operators who will be required to pay for the new modernized units.

But Lizada said the government has an P8,000 subsidy and a separate loan for the drivers that would only require them to pay P800 a day, all in, in 7 years. 

She said the new jeepneys, which would be much safer and more environmental-friendly, have a capacity of 30 to 32 passengers, therefore increasing the drivers' income.