A TRANSPORT group said that it would rally in front of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on January 24 against a government drive that was expected to jumpstart the public utility vehicle modernization program.
In a press conference on Sunday, George San Mateo, president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON), said that transportation was paralyzed because of “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok,” a move by the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) to impound old and smoke-belching jeepneys plying the roads.
“Marami ang stranded na pasahero sa ginagawa ng i-ACT na paghuli sa mga luma at sirang jeep,” San Mateo said.
(A lot of passengers are stranded because of the arrests made by I-ACT on old and dilapidated jeeps.)
“Di na kailangan hulihin ang mga jeep. Dapat sa screening pa lang iyan, chinecheck na nila,” according to San Mateo.
(There is no need to impound jeeps. At the start of screening, that should have been checked.)
San Mateo insisted that the government was only marketing expensive jeepneys to operators, and clarified that the group wanted a modernization but not a phaseout of jeepneys. According to San Mateo, they are willing to rehabilitate their jeepneys as part of the modernization program.
“Hindi kami tutol sa modernization pero tutol kami sa mga pang-aabuso. Ang rehabilitation ay one step sa modernization,” San Mateo said.
“Isinasagawa ng i-ACT ang operasyon para mas madaling maibugaw ng gobyerno ang pagbenta at pagpasok ng mga overpriced nilang sasakyan na nais nilang ipalit sa jeepney. Kunwari ang target nila ay yung karag-karag at bulok, pero pag naubos na nila ang mga karag-karag at bulok ay titirahin din nila ang iba pang mga jeepney na hindi bulok at hindi mausok hanggang maubos nila ito at maramihan nang maibenta ang overpriced na sasakyan,” he said.
(I-ACT is implementing the operation so that government can easily bring in its overpriced transport to replace the jeepney. It pretends to have for its target dilapidated jeeps but once they are out, its next target would be those which are alright until what’s left are those which are overpriced.)
Meanwhile, LTFRB Spokesperson Aileen Lizada said that the government will not stop its Oplan Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok as this has already been long overdue.
“We will not stoup our operations on old and dilapidated jeepneys. This is actually long overdue already,” Lizada told reporters.
“Open ho kami sa dialogue regarding itong modernization program na kanilang inoobject. Matagal na rin kaming open at parati naming sinasabi. Sana naman gawin ni George ung tama at kausap niya kami, hindi idaan sa ganitong mga rally na ito,” Lizada said.
(We are open to a dialogue regarding this modernization program that is being objected to. We have been open for a long time and we always say that we hope that George would do the right thing and talk to us and not through rallies like this.)
Lizada said the PUV modernization program was “makatao” as government agencies joined together to assist jeepney operators and drivers.
“Ang modernization po ng public utility jeepneys ay ang pinaka makataong proyektong ginagawa. Thirty government agencies ay pinagsama-sama para tulungan ang mga jeepney drivers and operators para makatawid sa three-year transition period,” Lizada said.
(The modernization of public utility jeepneys is the most humane project that is being implemented. Thirty government agencies united to help jeepney drivers and operators during the three-year transition period.) GLEE JALEA