Another 3-day strike set, this time by Manibela | Inquirer News

Another 3-day strike set, this time by Manibela

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:50 AM November 22, 2023

Youth groups join drivers on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, the second day of a transport strike on a terminal at the corner of Agoncillo and Pedro Gil in Manila.

Youth groups join drivers on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, the second day of a transport strike on a terminal at the corner of Agoncillo and Pedro Gil in Manila. (Photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Another transport group will stage a three-day strike starting today amid the looming Dec. 31 deadline for public utility vehicles (PUVs) to consolidate into cooperatives or corporations as part of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

In a press conference on Tuesday, Manibela president Mar Valbuena said their members around the country were expected to join the strike from Nov. 22 to 24.


The group, according to Valbuena, has around 150,000 to 200,000 members, composed of drivers and operators of passenger jeepneys, multicabs, and UV Express vans.


Valbuena said their members would stop plying their routes in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Central Visayas, Western Visayas and some parts of Mindanao, particularly Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, General Santos).

Manibela’s protest action follows the three-day strike led by another transport group, Piston, which ends Wednesday. Both groups are against the consolidation requirement by the end of the year, among other issues in the PUVMP.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), however, downplayed the impact of the protest actions led by Piston and Manibela.

The MMDA said it prepared 686 vehicles to ferry stranded commuters. Local governments were also providing their own vehicles for “libreng sakay” (free ride).

Source of livelihood

Valbuena said, “We are not doing this with the intention of making our kababayan suffer, we are doing this for us in the transport sector to be heard because what is at stake here is the main source of our livelihood.”


This will be Manibela’s second transport strike since Oct. 16, when they raised the same concerns against the PUVMP.

While Valbuena acknowledged that the majority of PUV drivers and operators in the country had already formed cooperatives or corporations, he said some “have expressed regret that they agreed to consolidate because after they got the modern unit, they realized that they could not afford the monthly amortization.”

In a number of cases, drivers and operators had no choice but to have their modern jeepneys repossessed by financing institutions over their failure to pay the amortization.

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TAGS: Manibela, public utility vehicles, PUV modernization program, transport strike

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