Tell it to SunStar: No to jeepney phaseout

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

We, along with commuter groups and other concerned individuals, express our support for jeepney drivers on their three-day strike against the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program which stakeholders have described as anti-poor and anti-commuter. We and other groups join the toiling drivers for a three-day strike starting Monday, April 29, 2024. The deadline for consolidation has been set on Tuesday, April 30.

Christian youth, along with commuters across the Philippines, express our unwavering faith and solidarity with the jeepney drivers and their strike in order to struggle for livelihood and public service. People of all ages have been flocking to strike centers in National Capital Region and among major cities to express support and to conduct solidarity activities such as salo-salo, teach-ins and cultural programs — all of which aim to increase public support for the drivers.

Because of public clamor, congressional hearings have been conducted to investigate matters relating to jeepney phaseout. Among the issues that have risen include burdensome debt being experienced by jeepney drivers, coming from situations favorable to corporate interests. The program has favored businessmen and corporations as they will be the ones that can financially reach the requirement of a minimum of fifteen minibus units per franchise.

Failure in providing a progressive, nationalist and mass-oriented public transportation, the PUV Modernization Program negatively affects the livelihood of 200,000 drivers and operators and nearly 29 million commuters. Truly, the sinful PUV Modernization Program of the Marcos administration has been greatly burdensome and anti-poor.

We have faith among the people that life would triumph over death–that our traditional jeepneys that have been the lifeblood of public transportation and livelihood of hundreds of thousands will prevail over government schemes that would mean death of livelihood and mass public transportation.

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