ANGELES CITY -- Transport groups in Central Luzon have reiterated their strong opposition against the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.
Jeepney drivers and operators belonging to the Samahan Ng MGa Tsuper at Operator Tutol Sa Phase Out (Stop) and the Confederation of Passenger Transport of Central Luzon trooped to the City Council last Tuesday to seek the support of the city officials.
Dan Yumul, national spokesperson of Stop and chairman of CPTCL, said that the Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok drive of the government will severely affect the livelihood of thousands of drivers and operators in the region.
“Tinututulan po naming ito dahil ito po ay pahirap sa mga drivers at operators at parusa sa mga mananakay,” Yumul told SunStar Pampanga.
(We are opposing this because this will only worsen the plight of drivers and operators and a punishment for commuters)
Yumul disclosed that the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic, which was formed by the Department of Transportation (DoTr) last February 7, established more than 20 checkpoints in various city-limit routes and conducted an operation against dilapidated and smoke-belching public utility vehicles.
The I-ACT operation resulted to monstrous traffic jams and hundreds of passengers including students and workers were affected.
Yumul said the I-ACT is “attacking” PUVs that have franchise and passed the emission testing of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
“Pumapasadang jeeps ang kanilang hinuhuli, may parangkisa at may clearance sa smoke emission tests na accredited ng LTO para marehistro. Kung duda man ang I-ACT at DoTr sa clearance ng mga jeep, LTO lamang din ang makasasagot sa katanungang ito,” Yumul said.
Some city councilors expressed support to the PUV Modernization Program but questioned the process being employed by the DoTR and I-ACT.
Councilor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. said that the jeepney drivers and operators secured clearances from the LTFRB and the LTO before having their vehicles registered and accredited.
These government agencies determine the road worthiness of the PUVs, according to Lazatin.
Lazatin lauded the program but said that its improper implementation affects the riding public particularly the students and the workers.
“Maganda yung programa [ng ating pamahalaan] pero parang may mali sa proseso e,” the councilor said.
(The government’s program is good but there seems to be a problem in the process)