A TRANSPORT group is set to stage a demonstration outside the office of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)-Northern Mindanao in Barangay Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City, to go against the government's plan to phase out jeepneys in the guise of transport modernization program.

The Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Northern Mindanao-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Starex-Piston) and the No to Jeepney Phase out coalition will hold the picket rally on Wednesday, January 24.

Starex-Piston secretary-general Ringo Lago said around a hundred drivers and operators across the region, including other sectors, will join the nationwide protest action.

"Ang atong assembly point is atbang sa Bollozos funeral homes unya mag martsa dayon ta padulong sa opisina sa LTFRB," Lago said.

Last week, Lago met with LTFRB-Northern Mindanao Director Aminoden Guro to inform the latter of the peaceful protest rally.

Lago said they will raise two issues mainly on their objection in phasing out Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJ) and the impact of "Train" law in the transport sector.

The progressive group wants Guro to bring its position paper, citing the sentiments of the drivers and operators in the region to the national office.

Lago said transport modernization is good but taking out the source of living of small drivers and operators is another thing.

He said the government should give drivers and operators an opportunity to overhaul or rehabilitate their jeepneys instead of banning them from running in the streets.

Lago said the government is insisting an expensive transport vehicle which small operators could hardly afford.

"Mao gitagaan nato sila og option nga kung naay nakita nga bikil sa jeep, tagaan higayon nga i-rehab or i-overhaul or change engine ba unlike sa ginaduso sa gobyerno nga mahal nga sakyanan nga kapin million nga malubong sa utang mga operators," Lao said.

Lago said part of the domino effect of the so-called modernization program is the likely fare increase which can also be attributed to the new tax reform law.

"Kinahanglan timbangon sa gobyerno ang pag-implement sa modernization program," Lago added.