Although the government downplayed the impact of the first day of the 3-day transport strike by PISTON, the progressive group is said to have managed to paralyze 90% of the jeepney routes in the National Capital Region (NCR).
PISTON shared this on the second day of the 3-day strike against the phaseout of the traditional jeepney and the December 31 deadline for franchise consolidation.
“Sasalubungin natin ang pagbabalik ni Marcos Jr. [mula Estados Unidos] ng pagpapatuloy ng ating malawakang welga dahil wala pang nagiging matinong sagot sa atin ang gobyerno,” said PISTON president Mody Floranda regarding the visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in California for the APEC Summit.
“Kahit pinalitan mo yung sasakyan pero pinatay mo naman ang kabuhayan ng mga Pilipino, nasaan ang pag-unlad doon?”
PISTON protests that many jeepney drivers and operators who cannot consolidate before 2024 will lose their livelihood, which will phase out such passenger vehicles in connection with the controversial public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).
Transport groups first said it is difficult to modernize, especially since some electric minibusses cost up to P2.8 million.
90% of routes in NCR paralyzed on Day 1 of strike – PISTON
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) downplayed the impact of the first day of the strike, insisting that it was just “normal Monday morning rush hour foot traffic” that happened yesterday.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) insists that the PUVMP will “not really” lead to the phase-out of traditional jeeps while stressing that the transport groups are not being forced to buy millions worth of “modern jeeps.”
This is even when Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairperson Teofilo Guadiz III admitted that the phase out of traditional jeepney units will be the “last stage” of the PUVMP.
“Halatang hindi nakikinig itong DOTr at ipinagmamalaki pang December 31 ay deadline lang sa consolidation at hindi phaseout,” said Floranda.
“Eh yung mismong consolidation nga ang matagal na nating tinututulan. Dahil kahit paano pa nila pagbali-baliktarin, ang franchise consolidation ay pag-agaw sa mga indibidwal na prangkisa na katumbas na ay phaseout. Hindi lang phaseout ng sasakyan ang tinutukoy natin dito, kundi phaseout ng kabuhayan.”