Four of the country’s major transport groups on Friday gave a big boost to former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva by endorsing his senatorial bid.
In a news conference in Quezon City, groups Pasang Masda, Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), Alliance of Concerned
Transport Organizations (ACTO) and Liga ng mga Transportasyon at Operator sa Pilipinas (LTOP) said they will help Villanueva get a seat in the Senate due to his platform of education and jobs for the country’s transport sector.
The groups claimed that they have around 500,000 members nationwide.
ACTO president Efren de Luna said the groups decided to back Villanueva because during his five-year stint in TESDA he promoted the welfare of public utility drivers and operators.
“We support the candidacy of Villanueva because the transport sector benefited a lot in his efforts to promote jobs and livelihood programs for the poor when he was TESDA chief,” De Luna said.
De Luna, Obet Martin of Pasang Masda, Zeny Maranan of FEJODAP and Orly Marquez of LTOP said they have consulted with their members nationwide and majority have expressed their desire to campaign for Villanueva because of his determination in helping the poor through job creation and technical vocational skills training.
Villanueva, who was present at the conference, thanked the groups for expressing their support.
“I know your hardships and concerns about worsening traffic, high cost of living, unfriendly roads and extortion by some traffic enforcers. We will solve this,” Villanueva
told the groups.
He also commended the transport group leaders for their decision to reduce fare rates by P0.50 which stemmed from the series of rollbacks in the prices of petroleum products in the local and global markets.
He said it showed how cooperation and dialogue can result to the benefit of the people.
During Villanueva’s term at TESDA, the agency initiated regular training to public utility drivers to ensure that they will strictly abide by the rules on the road and practice skills of safe driving.