Cebu jeepney drivers join protest action vs gov’t modernization plan
CEBU CITY – Some drivers in Cebu joined the nationwide protest against the implementation of the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
Danilo Dato, a council member of the Cebu Chapter of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston), said they stopped plying their routes to express their sentiments against the Dec. 31 deadline for the application of the consolidation franchise for PUVs.
As early as 7 a.m., drivers and operators as well as cause-oriented groups held rally “choke points” in at least three areas in Metro Cebu including the ones at Pacific Mall in Mandaue City, Andoks Mabolo in Cebu City, and at the Golden Peak hotel along Gorordo Avenue also in Cebu City.
They held placards and talked with fellow jeepney drivers who were still on the road ferrying passengers. Most of the drivers honked their horns to show their support but they did not join the work stoppage.
Aside from the similar woes raised by their national organization, Piston Cebu wanted to prevent the possible removal of PUV routes once the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit becomes operational.
“There will be no PUJ, no modern jeep, no taxi, nor habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) that will be allowed to pass including the UV express, because the road occupied will be exclusive to the BRT,” said Danilo Gato,
After holding pocket rallies in three areas, the group converged near the Santo Rosario Church in downtown Cebu City before proceeding to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) regional office.
Gato said they were hoping to paralyze the jeepney operations in Metro Cebu by 70 percent. But he said the main objective is to get the attention of the public so that the government will heed their calls.
Jeepneys, both modern and traditional units, were still seen plying their regular routes in Metro Cebu in the morning and even during noontime.
There are no reported stranded passengers on the street for lack of PUJs.