Jeepney drivers, operators say consolidation caused financial losses | Inquirer News

Jeepney drivers, operators say consolidation caused financial losses

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 03:30 PM November 22, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Drivers and operators of jeepneys who have undergone consolidation and become part of a cooperative through the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) reported facing financial losses, being burdened by debt, and having their livelihoods taken over.

In a press conference, Pasig-Mandaluyong-Quiapo Operators and Drivers Alliance Transport Service Cooperative (Pamaqoda) secretary Oscar Dela Peña on Monday shared his experience with the consolidation under the PUVMP.

“Sa loob ng tatlong taon, wala pong naireport na kinikita ang kooperatiba (in three years, the cooperative has not reported any income),” said Dela Peña.


“Walang natanggap na anumang dibidendo ang mga opisyales (The officers did not receive any dividend),” he added.


Dela Peña said the cooperative’s debt even reached up to P4 million.

He said they had been consistently writing letters to officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) but have yet to be given any solution.

“Sana sa kung gaano kabilis ang modernization, mabilis din ang aksyon (Hopefully with how fast modernization is, action will be fast too),” said Dela Peña.

Meanwhile, Guadalupe-FTI Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association, Inc. (GUAFTIODAI) member Rommel Odevillas, who introduced himself as one of the first operators to have consolidated for the PUVMP, shared that they started a cooperative with a Chinese national in 2019.

However, the consolidation ended up in a failure, with the Chinese group refusing to give their operators the agreed-upon daily P800.

“Noong nagpa-consolidate na kami sa isang foreign Chinese national, hindi tinupad ang aming usapan. Kami ay hindi man lang umasenso. Lalo pa itong pumatay sa aming kabuhayan,” said Odevillas.


(When we consolidated with a foreign Chinese national, our agreement was not fulfilled. We did not find success. It even killed our livelihood.)

Drivers of modern jeepneys also shared their hardships, with Emerson Bismonte, a former driver of Taguig Transport Service Cooperative, revealing that his earnings as a driver were insufficient.

Bismonte said he was promised a regular salary – which was supposedly an improvement from the boundary system — but a quota system significantly reduced his income.

When asked about the “doable demands” the LTFRB earlier declared, Bagumbayan-Pasig Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association Zaldy Canabal pointed out that even if they revise and simplify the consolidation process and the omnibus franchising guidelines, the outcome would remain the same.

READ: LTFRB says 3 of Piston’s demands ‘doable’ amid transport strike

“‘Yung consolidation, unang baitang lamang ng batayan para sa PUVMP, kung sinimplify man o pinadagaan ‘yung mga batayan for the consolidation, pagkatapos namin mag-consolidate paiiralin lang ulit ‘yung omnibus franchising guidelines,” said Canabal.

(The consolidation is only the initial step in the foundation for the PUVMP. Whether simplified or streamlined, once we consolidate, the omnibus franchising guidelines will still be implemented.)

“Malinaw sa’min na matutulak pa rin kami sa palpak at bogus na modernization program (It is clear to us that we will still be pushed towards the flawed and spurious modernization program),” he added.

Because of this, Zaldy said all the cooperatives present in the press conference will continue to join the transportation strike of Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide or Piston until Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Manibela until Friday, Nov. 24.


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Transport group Manibela to hold own 3-day strike from Nov 22 to 24

TAGS: driver, jeepney, Modernization, operator

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