Tugade to face transport groups next week

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Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade is expected to attend next week’s hearing on the modernization program for public utility vehicles (PUV) and face off with transport groups, Sen. Grace Poe said on Monday.

The hearing was initially scheduled on Thursday, and was one of the reasons Piston, or the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide, canceled its transport strike supposed to be held on December 4 and 5.

RALLY, NOT STRIKE George San Mateo, leader of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide, rallies jeepney drivers in Manila on Monday. The group, which is opposing the government’s jeepney modernization program, canceled its strike supposed to be held on December 4 and 5. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

Poe called for an investigation on the modernization program through Senate Resolution 554.

“While the intent of the PUV modernization program is laudable, it may have unintended negative effects for hundreds of thousands of public utility jeepney drivers and operators and consequently, the commuting public, considering that several issues remain to be threshed out regarding the program,” Poe said in her resolution.


The Department of Transportation on Monday said the government would help operators and drivers by offering affordable loans.

“The government has also made it a point to help operators and drivers migrate into the system by offering a financial package that has low interest, low equity, and long-term,” it said in a statement.

“The [modernization program]is long overdue. Filipino commuters deserve better, and operators and drivers deserve an industry that is competitive and at par with global standards,” it added.

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