DOTr open to demands of transport groups on strike

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista stated on Wednesday that the government is prepared to engage with the demands of transport groups participating in the current strike. He acknowledged that the strike has not significantly impacted the sector in recent days.

Bautista mentioned that the government is open to discussions with the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON). However, he emphasized that the consolidation requirement for jeepney operators and drivers remains a crucial element of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).


PISTON conducted a nationwide strike from November 20 to November 22, 2023, to express opposition to the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). The strike concluded on Wednesday.

A major point of contention in the PUVMP is the mandated consolidation of operators into cooperatives, intending to form larger fleets of Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs). This initiative, initiated during the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017, aims to replace jeepneys with vehicles equipped with at least a Euro 4-compliant engine to reduce pollution.

Operators and drivers have expressed concerns about the financial burden associated with the modernization program, with costs potentially exceeding P2 million.


DOTr open to demands of transport groups on strike

Bautista noted that government officials, including representatives from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), engaged in discussions with PISTON and its legal representatives on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, to address the issues at hand.

“Actually, halos naman lahat (ng demands pwedeng pagbigyan). Ang kailangan lang, konting oras, pero ang sabi ko ang hindi naman talaga pwedeng pagbigyan is ‘yung ayaw nilang mag-consolidate,” he said.

“Ang tingin namin (In our view), this is one of… an important component of the public utility vehicle modernization program,” he added.


PISTON has put forward several demands, including the request for new vehicles to be issued a five-year franchise and the expedited transfer of franchises in case of vehicle sales. This issue is tied to operators’ concerns about not receiving fuel subsidies despite having acquired the new vehicles.

“‘Yung subsidy na ‘yan ay mababayaran dun sa registered owner and one of the issue daw diyan ay dahil naibenta na sa kanila pero hindi pa nalilipat ay hindi nila makukuha ‘yung fuel subsidy,” Bautista said.

“But sabi nga namin kung maipapakita niyo na ‘yung mga documents ay tama, maski hindi pa nata-transfer ay bibigay namin ‘yung fuel subsidy sa kanila,” he added.

Visit our Facebook page for more  updates.