THE Department of Transportation (DOTr) welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement of support for the plan to modernize public utility vehicles (PUVs) which, it said was a “boost” to the program.
“The DOTr welcomes the statement of support of President Rodrigo Duterte on the PUV Modernization Program. The President’s support is definitely a boost to the program, which aims to provide our commuters a convenient, safe and environment-friendly mode of transport,” the DOTr said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We draw our strength and energy from the President’s constant reminder to always be guided by the public good and give the Filipino people the service they deserve,” the DOTr said.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that Duterte’s speech only underscored his administration’s strong political will to initiate reforms to the public sector.
“The President’s fervent support of modernization goes back to attempts of previous administrations to do the same but had been thwarted due to similar ideologically based transport strikes and protests,” Abella said in a statement.
“However, when public good is at stake, the Duterte administration will not compromise. This is the message of the President’s speech yesterday. It underscores the national leadership’s strong political will and decisive stance to initiate reform in the public transportation sector,” according to Abella
PISTON, led by its president George San Mateo, staged a two-day transport strike against the PUV modernization program on the grounds that it was anti-poor and would only benefit corporations while putting small operators and drivers at a disadvantage.
On Tuesday, Duterte gave an ultimatum to operators and drivers to modernize their jeepneys until yearend or face arrest. REICELENE JOY IGNACIO