IN SOLIDARITY | Bacolod transport groups to hold strike to save PUJs

IN SOLIDARITY | Bacolod transport groups to hold strike to save PUJs

Bacolod transport groups led by  United Negros Drivers and Operators Center (Undoc) Piston and Bacolod Alliance of Commuters, Operators and Drivers (Bacod) Manibela will hold a protest on Friday, December 22, in solidarity with the national strike against the impending franchise consolidation deadline on December 31.

The rallyists will assemble at the Rizal Park at 1 p.m. and will converge at the Fountain of Justice.

According to the groups, around 140,000 drivers and 60,000 small operators could be displaced and lose their jobs if the December 31 deadline for franchise consolidation remains in effect.

This could also negatively impact approximately 28.5 million commuters nationwide, potentially leading to a "transport disaster" in January 2024, it also said.

In Bacolod, more than 2,000 unconsolidated jeepney drivers will be deprived of their livelihood, the transport groups, which continued to criticize the modernization program as a corporate capture of the Philippine transport system.

The groups led by Piston and Manibela have already filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, December 20, seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Department Order (DO) 2017-011, also known as the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG), and other relevant Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) issuances which seeks to phase out traditional jeepneys.

On December 12, Marcos said that 70 percent of all operators “have already committed to and consolidated” under the PUV Modernization Program, adding that the government “cannot allow further delays in its implementation.”

Marcos said such delays in the PUV Modernization Program “are affecting majority of the PUV operators, banks, financial institutions and the public.”

“Adhering to the current timeline ensures that everyone can reap the benefits of the full operationalization of our modernized public transport system. Hence, the scheduled timeline will not be moved,” Marcos said in a statement on December 12. (with reports from SunStar Philippines)

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