everal transport groups are preparing for a massive protest prior to President Rodrigo Duterte’s third state of the nation address (SONA) on July 23.
The Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators (ACTO) argues that the government’s jeepney modernization program only serves the wealthy because ordinary drivers cannot afford to buy new units, noting that financing institutions would only reject their application for loans.
“Iyan ay nakakatakot at kailangan talaga ng tunay na programa. At kasama kami doon sa programa, hindi iyong inihain na lang ng gobyerno, kasi phase out sa amin ito papatungo,” said ACTO President Efren de Luna.
(That is alarming and it needs a real program. A program that includes us, not one that is hastily imposed by the government, because this ‘phase-out’ directly affects us.)
De Luna said that the program also does not help ordinary operators in several aspects that’s why they insist on having a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte.
ACTO is asking President Duterte to hear their side prior to his SONA. Otherwise, they would stage a nationwide protest.
“Hindi lamang ito mga jeepney kundi hahaluan ito ng mga UV Express (It will not be staged by the jeepney sector alone, it will be joined by UV Express),” said De Luna.
Meanwhile, Transport Undersecretary Thomas Orbos vowed to study the request of the transport group. — Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo
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