MANILA, Philippines – The lack of public transport, in particular jeepneys, was felt by commuters on Monday, October 16, the first day of the nation transport strike.
As early as 7 am Monday, netizens took to social media their experiences on the lack of jeepneys during the third nationwide strike against the government’s Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program.
Launched by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) last June, the PUV modernization program orders the replacement of jeepneys aged 15 years or older. (READ: Is the PUV modernization program ‘anti-poor?’)
Earlier September, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Development Bank of the Philippines for the bank to provide loans to qualified cooperatives for the acquisition of new public utility vehicles (PUV).
A change in the franchising system, updates on new routes, training for drivers are also part of the modernization program.
The transportation department also said that all buses, jeepneys and public utility vans will be modernized, organized and put under an automated fare collection system by 2020.
However, the plan has sparked outrage among jeepney operators and drivers who say it is ‘anti-poor’ and will lead to a loss of livelihood. (READ: DOTr hits Piston ‘propaganda’ on modernization program ) – Rappler.com