Major transport groups to skip next week's 2-day strike

MANILA, Philippines — A number of transport groups on Wednesday announced that they are not joining the planned two-day transport strike on October 16 and 17 (Monday and Tuesday) next week.

Among the transport groups who reportedly announced that they are not joining the jeepney strike are the Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP), Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP) and Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburbs Drivers Association (PASANG MASDA).

The groups denied that they support the transport strike planned by Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) to protest the government’s plan to phase out jeepneys aged 15 years and older.

READ:Why some transport groups oppose jeepney phaseout

“We will not be joining the transport strike,” ACTO president Efren de Luna said in a press conference.

“The PUV Modernization only wants to ensure the security of passengers and to have an environmentally sustainable mode of transportation,” he added.

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LTOP president Orlando Marquez called on their fellow jeepney coalitions “to support the government in modernizing the public transportation system in the country.”

LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada, board spokesperson,earlier said the government’s modernization plan is for the benefit of the riding public. She also assured the operators that they would be given a P80,000 subsidy to help with the cost of the modernization of the public utility jeepneys and that their mode of transport would not be phased out.

Last September 25 and 26, transport group Stop and Go Coalition also staged a transport strike to protest the government’s call for modernization.

The Stop and Go Coalition will also join the scheduled two-day strike.

In a radio interview, the coalition’s president Jun Magno clarified they do not intend to paralyze the public transportation system. He still called on the local government units and academic institutions to suspend classes in light of their plan to hold a transport strike.

“If (we wanted to paralyze public transportation), why did we even announce the transport strike?” Magno said in an interview with dzRH last Monday.

“We just want the government to talk to us because their program is anti-poor,” he added.