Officials back 'no phase out'

SUPPORT has been given to hundreds of jeepney drivers and operators who want to protect their livelihood.

Councilors Joel Alangsab and Arthur Allad-iw co-authored the resolution supporting the call of the Baguio-Benguet Jeepney Associations Coalition against jeepney phase-out and provided a rehabilitation of dilapidated units to conform to the standards prescribed by transportation laws on common carriers.

Piston Metro-Baguio president Carlito Wayas led a massive rally with members of the Alliance of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Associations in the BLISST area marching along city streets in protest over the phase out saying the move will result to a loss of jobs for thousands of drivers.

The government is set to phase out jeepneys and convert to the more sustainable electric jeep sourced from abroad which costs P1.5 Million per unit as backed by the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).

“The proposed replacement e-jeepney was proven during the test drive that it cannot withstand the city’s terrain, thus, modernization program will put our city transportation system in a chaotic situation considering it will deprive our constituents from affordable means of transportation,” the councilors said.

In Baguio City and Benguet, there are about 8,000 to 9,000 jeepney drivers belonging to the different association’s plying the streets daily.

“The measure is considered as the simplest form of restraint of trade or unfair competition considering that it violates the right to fair competition of our small time operators as well as their right to due process of law seeing that it is tantamount to unlawful taking of their very means of life support,” the aldermen in their resolution said.

The resolution was approved during Monday’s regular session.

“The modernization program will definitely swell the existing traffic and parking problem of our city considering that said program entails increase in the number of vehicles without disposing the traditional jeepneys from our roads,” added the joint resolution.

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