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Over 25K jeepney drivers need membership in cooperatives to renew franchise

More than 25,000 jeepney drivers need membership in cooperatives to renew their franchises before they expire on April 30.

According to Joseph Morong’s “24 Oras” report on Thursday, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will have a meeting on Monday to discuss the matter to avert the shortage of jeepneys.

The jeepney modernization program aims to replace the traditional jeepneys with vehicles powered by more environment-friendly fuels.  Operators and drivers can apply for new franchises, but as part of transport cooperatives.

“Maghahanap na lang po ng iba,” jeepney driver Rodel Cabaltera said.

“Hinto pasada na. Hindi ko po alam sa operator ko po eh,” jeepney driver Billy Pedrosa said.

The LTFRB has yet to make a decision on extending the franchise of traditional jeepneys.

“Depende po dun sa ipepresent sa board. Far out din po siguro yung not to be allowed but there’s going to be certain compliance that they need to do,” LTFRB board member Riza Marie Paches said.

The agency also called on operators of traditional jeepneys to form a cooperative or join in other cooperatives to avoid problems.

According to the LTFRB, it is better for a jeepney driver to be a member of a cooperative because they no longer need to maintain boundaries.

“Dapat ho ay swelduhan na po ang ating mga drivers. They are considered our drivers under the Modernization Program are considered as regular employees of the corporation or the cooperatives. Entitled po sila sa regular na sweldo at entitled din po sila sa mga social legislative benefits katulad po ng SSS, Pagibig, PhilHealth,” LTFRB NCR regional director Zona Tamayo said.—Richa Noriega/LDF, GMA Integrated News