LTFRB: Gov”t to offer free rides along routes affected by transport strike in Metro Manila

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Monday that free rides will be offered along certain routes in Metro Manila that will be affected by the looming three-day transport strike next week.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, LTFRB chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III said they have identified two to three routes in the National Capital Region that will be covered by the transport strike initiated by MANIBELA on July 24 to July 26.

The first day of the strike will coincide with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address on July 24.

“Marami ho tayong nakahandang libreng sakay. The usual procedure po, kinausap natin ang mga bus companies at ibang jeepney associations na ‘yung mga ruta lang naman na may pag-aaklas ang aming pupunuan,” Guadiz said.

(We have prepared many free rides. We had the usual procedure–we talked to the bus companies and other jeepney associations that we will fill only those routes where they will be a transport strike.)

MANIBELA has been firm with its decision to push through with their transport strike in opposition to the PUV modernization program despite warnings of possible revocation of their franchise.

On Friday, the LTFRB said that jeepney drivers who violate the law by joining the transport strike could face penalties, including revocation of their franchise.

“Mag-isip isip ho kayo. Baka pagkatapos ng inyong tigil pasada, matigil na talaga ang inyong pamamasada. …Mananagot ho sila sa LTFRB,” Guadiz said on a “24 Oras” report by Joseph Morong.

[You should think first. Maybe after your strike, you may not be able to ply your routes again. They will be answerable to the LTFRB.]

That same day, Mar Valbuena, president of MANIBELA, said the strike will push through.

“Kung mare-revoke kami , sususpend kami, madadagdagan yung public utility vehicle na mawawala sa kalsada at walang masasakyan lalo ang taumbayan,” he said.

[If our (franchises) will be revoked, or we will be suspended, the more public utility vehicles will not be able to ply their routes and will worsen the situation of the riding public.]

Traditional jeepneys

On Monday, Guadiz said that traditional jeepneys will be allowed to operate as long as they meet the requirements set by the government.

“‘Yung parte ng phase out would come after three, four years pa ‘yun. Then may financing scheme pa kaming ginagawa dito sa mga gustong magbago ng mga jeepney. Matagal tagal pa bago mangyari ‘yan,” he said.

(That part of the phase out would come after three to four years. We are also working on a financing scheme for those who want to upgrade their jeepneys. It will take a long time before the phase out happens.)

The PUV modernization program started in 2017, aiming to replace jeepneys with vehicles that have at least a Euro 4-compliant engine to lessen pollution, but drivers and operators complained about the costs which can hit over P2 million. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News

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