Transport group MANIBELA on Tuesday announced that it will hold a three-day nationwide transport strike starting Wednesday, November 22, 2023, according to Allan Gatus' report on Super Radyo dzBB.
Like PISTON which is currently on Day 2 of its transport strike, MANIBELA chairman Mar Valbuena said they are opposing the government's PUV Modernization Program.
PISTON, or the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide, is particularly opposed to the December 31 deadline given to jeepney operators for consolidation in connection with the modernization program.
In a press briefing, Valbuena said the deadline, if not extended, will render them colorum come January 1, 2024. He said this would lead to a bigger transport strike next year.
"Kung hindi mai-extend, January 1 colorum na kami, siguradong mas malawak, mas matinding transport strike ang sasalubong sa bagong taon. Sinisigurado ko po iyan," Valbuena said.
(If it will not be extended, we will become colorum come January 1. Bigger transport strikes will greet the new year.)
Valbuena said MANIBELA members are not forced to join the transport strike.
"Hindi namin pinipilit 'yung iba naming kasamahan. Kung ayaw po, hindi po natin dapat pilitin," he said.
(We are not forcing some of our members to join the strike. If they do not want to join, we will not force them to join.)
Valbuena urged those who have no important business outdoors to just stay in their homes during the duration of their transport strike.
No effect on transport industry
Meanwhile at a public briefing, Pasang Masda president Obet Martin said he believes the three-day strike will not affect the transport industry and will only take its toll on the commuters and the jeepney drivers themselves.
“Itong MANIBELA naman na ito naman ang sisingit, mahilig itong sumingit eh. Eh alikabok lang naman ‘to, wala ito. This will not give effect to the transport industry sapagkat tumatakbo naman ng normal ang ating mga kasama sa hanapbuhay,” he said.
(MANIBELA likes to meddle. It's nothing. This will not give effect to the transport industry because our fellow drivers are running their operations normally.)
Martin thus appealed to his colleagues to just help one another and not burden the public.
“Ang pamahalaan, hindi ko sinasabing kamping kampi ako sa gobyerno, pero inuunawa, iniintindi, hinaharap tayo ang problemang inahin namin sa Kagawaran, kay Secretary Bautista at kay chairman Guadiz. Ano pa ang kailangan natin?” he said.
(I'm not saying that I am on the side of the government, but the government tries to understand and face the problem that we are complaining about in the Department, with Secretary Bautista and with chairman Guadiz. What else do we need?)
“Ang pagtigil pasada ay isa lamang pamamaraan kung ang iyong hiniling ay hindi naibigay, kailangan mong huminto. Pero yan ay dapat pangatawanan nila,” he added.
(The transport strike could be done only if what you’re asking is not being given. But you should stand by it.)
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday said that three out of the four major requests of PISTON regarding the PUV Modernization Program are doable.
These are the waiving of penalty, extension of franchise of up to five years, and the relieving of some of the provisions of the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG).
Dropping of the consolidation process, however, could not be done but could be simplified, it said. — with Giselle Ombay/KBK/RSJ, GMA Integrated News