THE Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board-Davao Region (LTFRB-Davao Region) clarified that no drivers in Davao City joined the three-day nationwide transport strike starting on Monday, November 20.
In a phone interview with Nonito Llanos III, LTFRB-Davao regional director, the official said that they have monitored zero public utilize vehicle drivers that joined the simultaneous protest action.
“Wala tay na-monitor or na-record na mga drivers nga niapil aning nationwide strike pero sa pagkabalo nako, sa ubang lugar naa gyud pero sa Davao, wala” (We have not monitored or recorded any drivers who participated in this nationwide strike, but as far as I know, in other places, there are drivers who participated, but no records in Davao) Llanos said.
However, according to the San Pedro Police Station Commander, Major Marvin Hugos, around 15 individuals affiliated to progressive groups staged a protest at Freedom Park for two hours to voice their opposition against the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.
“Mostly mga progressive groups, mga sympathizers, ug mga student-activists ang nag-protest diria. Walay mga drivers nga niapil” (Mostly progressive groups, sympathizers, and student-activists are protesting here. No drivers involved) he said.
These sectors were identified as Transmission-Piston group, Anakbayan, KMU-Southern Mindanao Region (SMR), and Kabataan Party-List-Southern Mindanao Region.
To recall, hundreds of Jeepney drivers under the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) in National Capital Region (NCR) staged another transport strike last November 20 to protest the administration’s decision to give them until December 31 to adapt the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).
As of October 31, 2023, only 95,869 out of 170,086 jeepney units nationwide—or 56.37 percent—had consolidated, according to government data, despite heavy advocacy for the policy from then-President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017.
By the next three years, the goal of modernization is to swap out public utility vehicles (PUVs), such as buses and traditional jeepneys, that are at least fifteen years old with more environmentally friendly, newer versions. DEF