PUBLIC utility transport groups will hold the first of a two-day nationwide strike on Monday against a government plan to phase out jeepneys, which PUJ owners and drivers have branded as “anti-poor.”
“The Duterte administration wants to massacre the livelihood of over 600,000 PUJ drivers and 300,000 small operators and turn our PUJ’s operations into a milking cow of his big business cronies — the Ayalas, Pangilinans, Aboitizes and Cojuangcos,” the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) said in a joint press statement with other transport groups issued on Sunday.
“For commuters, it would result in unabated fare hikes with the minimum fare increasing to at least 20 pesos through the Ayala owned BEEP automated fare collection system. It would also cause greater inconveniences as the route rationalization and fleet management scheme would set lesser PUJ routes to favor private vehicles and the big business owned Bus-Rapid-Transit,” it added.
Aside from Piston, other groups that will join the strike are the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Bayyo Association Inc. (Bai), Rizal Alliance Vs. PUJ Phase out, No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition, Unified Transport Federation of Makati, Camanava Transport Alliance Against Jeepney Phaseout, Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network, All Workers’ Unity, and Kilos na Manggagawa.
The groups will converge as early as 6 a.m. on Monday in:
* Cubao (Gateway Aurora Blvd)
* Welcome Rotonda
* Stop and Shop
* Pedro Gil
The government’s modernization program aims to phase out old jeeneys and replace them with high-quality transport units that offer environment-friendly and advanced technological features for maximum capacity, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Each unit, the DOTr said, would cost P1.6 million.
The transport groups allege that the program is “anti-poor”.
Another transport group, Stop & Go Transport Coalition, held a similar strike on September 24. A second one was planned the following day but was cancelled after the Sept. 24 protest fizzled out. GLEE JALEA