Jeepney drivers and operators opposed to the jeepney modernization program staged a caravan protest in Manila on Monday instead of a transport strike but warned that they will mount a transport strike if the government will not delay the modernization program set to start in January 2018.
The protesters were joined by members of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) and No to Jeepney Coalition. The protesters converged at Welcome Rotonda in Quezon City before proceeding to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila. They then marched to Mendiola.
The protesters were stopped and confronted by police authorities and members of Land Transportation Office (LTO) when they arrived in UST.
“They were out of line, these jeepneys’ route is to Mandaluyong and they are here along España, “ LTO Task Force Team Leader Jose Manuel Buenaviz said.
Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) officials were also deployed to observe and monitor the protest activities. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) prepared over 20 tow trucks to pull away the jeepneys in the caravan.
Piston on Sunday announced the cancellation of the two-day transport strike planned for Monday and Tuesday. The group’s officials said they expect to have a good dialogue with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in the Senate hearing on December 11.