MANILA, Philippines – On Monday, March 6, several transport groups began a weeklong strike in protest of the government’s public utility vehicle modernization program, which they fear would mean the eventual phaseout of traditional jeepney operators.
Transport groups Manibela, PISTON, and Laban Transportation Network Vehicle Service led the strike despite the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) extending the deadline to December 31 (originally set for June 30) for individual operators of traditional jeepneys to consolidate with a cooperative or corporation.
Consolidated entities would then be required to buy modernized jeepneys costing them up to P2.8 million each.
Several transport groups have protested against the modernization program since its launch in 2017. PISTON PISTON reiterated that while they do not oppose modernizing jeepneys, any transportation modernization should ensure “fair and just transition” for transport workers and affected vulnerable sectors.
In this episode of Newbreak Chats, Rappler’s resident economist JC Punongbayan and multimedia reporter Lance Spencer Yu discuss the recent transport strike and challenges covering it, the “consolidation” required in modernizing jeepneys, and what entails a “just transition.”
Depsite the protest ending early Tuesday evening, March 7, the LTFRB was tasked to review the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines, which contain the jeepney modernization plans. With the extension of the deadline to the end of the year, only time will tell whether a compromise can be made between the two sides.
Watch Newsbreak Chats on Thursday, March 9, at 4 pm. – Rappler.com