Transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) will stage today its second protest rally against the government’s modernization program for public utility vehicles.
Members of Piston, made up of public utility jeepney drivers and operators, will assemble at the Welcome Rotonda, Quezon City, at 12 in the afternoon, and march to Mendiola, Manila.
The Manila Police District said PISTON’s protest rally will be supported by various progressive groups and is expected to be a “big transport rally.”
“No to Duterte and Tugade’s fake and money-making modernization. Yes to public-service-oriented, genuine, democractic and socially-just modernization toward a nationalized mass transport system,” PISTON president George San Mateo said, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
San Mateo said the government is oppressing jeepney drivers and operators, but cannot maintain properly the Metro Rail Transit-3 traversing EDSA.
He added the government has not yet provided financial assistance to operators to shift to modern types of jeepneys.
PISTON groups in Bicol, Cagayan Valley, Baguio, and Cagayan de Oro will also conduct their own protest in their respective provinces, according to San Mateo.
Last January 24, PISTON staged a protest in front of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board office in Quezon City.