Transport cooperatives not joining July 24 strike

Transport cooperatives of modernized jeepneys on Wednesday said they will not participate in the scheduled strike of some transportation groups against the PUV modernization program (PUVMP) in time for the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

According to Joseph Morong’s “24 Oras” report on Wednesday, more than 400 transport cooperatives of modernized jeepneys said that they will continue operations on Monday, July 24.

“Hindi kami sasama dito sa idineklarang tigil-pasada,” said Taguig Transport Cooperative President Freddie Hernandez.

(We will not participate in the strike.)

Transport group Manibela earlier declared a transportation strike against the PUVMP which aims to replace traditional jeepneys with vehicles powered by more environment-friendly fuels. Among their grievances is the expensive vehicle units, which may cost to up to P2 million.

The Department of Transportation and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said traditional jeepneys will not be phased out after the expiry of the December 31 deadline for consolidation. However, they remained firm there will be no extension for it.

Latest data from the LTFRB showed around 62.9% of jeepneys and 72% of UV express groups are now consolidated, the report said.

“Tatapusin yung mga provisional authority because not all provisional authorities end or coincide with the December 31 deadline for consolidation. It’s not true na December 31, paggising niyo ng bagong taon ay titigil na lahat,” said LTFRB board member Mercy Jane Paras-Leynes.

(We will complete the period for the provisional authority because not all provisional authorities end or coincide with the December 31 deadline for consolidation. It’s not true that they will be phah=sed out by December 31.)

Upon the expiry of their franchise, jeepney drivers who were unconsolidated by the end of the year will not be eligible for financial assistance from the government.

Manibela said they can pass up on the benefit if it would mean they will not be buried in debt. They also said they will proceed with the scheduled strike which will also be conducted in other areas in the country including Pangasinan, Regions 2, 3, 4-A and 4-B, Visayas, Davao, Cagayan, and Cotabato.

“Konti nga lang po kami ang ingay pa nila kaya lumala po. Tuloy, imbes na pag isipan kong i-atras na at nakikiusap ang gobyerno na ‘wag ko ng gawin mas lalo po tuloy akong na challenge na ituloy kaya kasalanan nilang maiingay na hindi naman namin inaano,” said Manibela president Mar Valbuena.

(They were saying we were low in numbers but they were noisy about our strike. This prompted me to continue instead of withdrawing the strike.)–Sundy Locus/LDF, GMA Integrated News

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