Jeepney drivers to stage protest

Jeepney drivers to stage protest

TRANSPORT group Manibela will be mounting a continuous nationwide transport protest the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) beginning on Tuesday.

In Metro Manila, the group will be rolling out a protest caravan from the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus in Quezon City to Welcome Rotonda at the boundary of Manila, Manibela president Mar S. Valbuena said in a media advisory on Sunday.

Instead of a transport strike, jeepney drivers and operators will join the caravan that plans to proceed to Mendiola and ultimately reach the Supreme Court on Taft Avenue to call for a stop to the implementation of the PUVMP.

To recall, the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has issued new guidelines allowing unconsolidated public utility vehicles to continue operations until Jan. 31.

The LTFRB estimated that about 38,000 jeepney drivers could lose their jobs starting February once the PUVMP is in full effect.

Approximately 30% of Metro Manila units have been consolidated, while routes near 50%, falling short of the 65% target, according to the Department of Transportation.

IBON Foundation has estimated that fares would increase to P45-P50 within the next five years due to the PUVMP from the current P15 minimum fare on modern jeepneys. — Ashley Erika O. Jose