DOTr to transport groups: Let’s talk before planning, staging strike
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Monday appealed to transportation groups to hold a dialogue with the agency first before staging a strike in protest of the department’s policies and orders.
“You know siguro dapat pag-isipan nating mabuti ‘yung pag-stop ng operations. Dapat mag-usap-usap muna. Let’s understand what the issues are kasi baka hindi tayo nagkakaintindihan,” DOTr Sec. Jaime Bautista said in a statement after the transportation group Manibela bared its plan to hold a week-long strike by March 6.
(You know, maybe we should think carefully about stopping operations. We should talk first. Let’s understand what the issues are because maybe we don’t understand each other.)
The transportation group said the week-long strike is its response against the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) extended deadline for the franchise of traditional jeepneys on June 30.
Bautista pointed out that transportation groups should at least hold a dialogue with the DOTR and the LTFRB to thoroughly examine each other’s positions regarding the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.
“So I have already instructed the Undersecretary for Road Sector to coordinate with the LTFRB and with the operators,” Bautista added.
He clarified that the government will give transportation groups ample time to gather enough funds to purchase new units for their operations in line with the PUV modernization program. He likewise said that there would be no phase out of traditional PUV units in areas where groups could not acquire new units for their designated routes.
He said that the DOTr is working closely with the Development Bank of the Philippines and with LandBank of the Philippines to help transport groups and cooperatives to finance the acquisition of modernized jeepneys.