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Transport groups push through with Day 2 of week-long strike vs. PUV modernization

Some transport groups continued with Day 2 of their planned week-long strike on Tuesday.

Among those taking part in the transport strike to protest the government's public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program are members of Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) and Malayang Alyansa ng Bus Employees at Laborers (MANIBELA).

"'Yung mga nagtigil-pasada kahapon, ganoon pa rin ngayon," MANIBELA national president Mar Valbuena said in an interview on Dobol B TV.

(Those who staged a transport strike yesterday will continue to do so again today.)

Mody Floranda, PISTON national president, told Super Radyo dzBB on Monday that the strike would continue until President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. comes out with an executive order junking the PUV modernization program.

Jeepney drivers servicing the Malabon-Monumento route remained at their terminal on Tuesday morning for the strike, according to a report by Rod Vega on Dobol B TV.

They said they were able to paralyze the said jeepney route on Monday.

The drivers said they are sacrificing what they would have earned during the strike to fight for their rights.

Meanwhile, at the Roxas Boulevard-EDSA intersection, some PISTON members were seen still plying their route and ferrying passengers, but they said they will only do two trips before stopping operations for the day, according to a report by Mao dela Cruz on Dobol B TV.




The PISTON members also claimed they were able to paralyze the Baclaran-Divisoria route on Monday.

Meanwhile, some jeepney drivers who went on strike on Monday resumed operations on Tuesday only to find out there were hardly any passengers.

Such was the situation the drivers plying the Katipunan-Aurora route in Quezon City found themselves in, according to a report by Allan Gatus on Dobol B TV.




The drivers even said it seemed like the passengers were the ones who staged a strike.

Schools located in the area such as Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines shifted to online classes for the week due to the week-long transport strike, while some workers in the area were allowed to work from home.

Drivers lament cost of modern jeepneys

PUJ drivers who are part of the Malaban-Acacia-Monumento Transport Cooperative said they formed the group in April 2021 in accordance to the modernization program, according to Joseph Morong’s report on “24 Oras.”

However, they were told their application would be referred to the LTFRB's lawyers.

GMA Integrated News reached out to the agency for a comment but LTFRB Chairperson Teofilo Guadiz said they would coordinate with the transport cooperative.

The drivers further said they cannot fund the modern jeepneys—mini buses worth over P2 million, apart from interest.

“How much per day nun? Itong pamamasada...para po itong nagtitinda, kung minsan mabili, kung minsan matumal,” said Malaban-Acacia-Monumento Transport Cooperative president Angelito dela Rosa.

(How much is that per day? Driving is like selling in the market, sometimes we earn a lot but sometimes we don’t.)

Dela Rosa also said they only heaved a sigh of relief after the LTFRB announced they may allow traditional jeepneys to continue plying the country’s road under the conditions set by Marcos.

“Kaya namin na irecon 'yan na maging bago ulit...running condition na tatagal naman talaga,” Malaban-Acacia-Monumento Transport Cooperative vice-president Roberto Suarez said.

(We can recon our jeepneys to running conditions that would last.)

Libreng Sakay

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and local government units continued providing free rides or Libreng Sakay to commuters on Tuesday, according to a report by Mark Makalalad on Dobol B TV.

MMDA chairman Romando Artes said there are enough vehicles for Libreng Sakay on the second day of the transport strike to service the riding public.



Malacañang  said that there had been no disruption in transportation on Monday except in some routes in Metro Manila due to the protest action.

PISTON however said on Facebook that the transportation strike was a success on Monday with 80% of Metro Manila affected. It said 100% of the major routes in the National Capital Region were "paralyzed."

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

The LTFRB has extended the June 30 deadline for jeepney operators to form cooperatives to December 31, 2023. — with Sundy Locus/KG/BM, GMA Integrated News