Transport groups to hold 3-day strike

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TRANSPORT groups are planning to hold a three-day strike nationwide to protest the planned transportation modernization program that will see the phaseout of rickety passenger jeepneys.

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Jun Magno, president of the Stop and Go Transport Coalition, said they have yet to decide when to hold the transport strike.

“We still have to set the right date for this three-day transport strike,” Magno said during a news conference in Quezon City.

He added that President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed willingness to talk with transport groups concerning the modernization program, but they have not received any notice from the government for a dialogue.

“When will that dialogue be held? The modernization (program) will be implemented soon, and yet we have not received any notice from them, no schedule. Totally, we got zero,” Magno told The Manila Times.

Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board Spokesperson Aileen Lizada said that the planned transport strike is illegal and a nuisance to the public.

“They are doing it the wrong way. They inconvenience the pubic,” Lizada said.

She gave assurances that the government will provide free rides to commuters if the transport strike pushes through.

Under the jeepney modernization program, the Department of Transportation will phase out old jeepneys and replace them with better managed fleet with environment-friendly engines.

Transport groups such as Stop and Go and the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide however said that the implementation of the program will lead to “corporatization” and strip small jeepney operators and drivers of their livelihood.

The government had said that it will provide assistance to operators and drivers to allow them to adapt to the new system.

The Transportation department said early this month that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will need two to three months to come up with the final version of the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines.

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