Makabayan's Christmas wishlist: Halt jeepney phaseout, secure long-term peace | Inquirer News

Makabayan’s Christmas wishlist: Halt jeepney phaseout, secure long-term peace

/ 06:48 PM December 25, 2023

pnp transport strike

A jeepney at Baclaran district in Parañaque City has become a virtual protest wall as it displays streamers and banners voicing out the sentiments of drivers. (Richard A. Reyes/Inquirer) 

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers from the House of Representatives’ Makabayan bloc hope that this Christmas season, the government will grant their wish for jeepneys not to be phased out, for lasting peace between state forces and rebels, and for justice for human rights abuse victims.

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said on Monday, December 25, her hopes for a more progressive country after this year — one where those involved in extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and disinformation would be held accountable.


“I hope that we all have a liberating Christmas and a more progressive country. A peaceful, just, and prosperous New Year for everyone. I hope we achieve justice for many of our countrymen and that those involved in EJKs [extrajudicial killings] in the country and the spread of disinformation are held accountable,” Castro said in a statement.


“I also hope that peace talks between the GRP [Government of the Republic of the Philippines] and the NDFP [National Democratic Front of the Philippines] are formally resumed to address the fundamental problems of the Filipino people,” she said.

Last November 28, Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that the Philippine government and the NDFP have reached a tentative agreement on seeking a peaceful resolution to the decades-old armed conflict.

Peace talks were initially expected to prosper under former president Rodrigo Duterte due to his ties with the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), but discussions were derailed after mistrust from both sides.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Raoul Manuel meanwhile hoped that love would prevail — by ensuring that small jeepney operators and drivers would still have their livelihoods next year.

A jeepney phaseout looms over units deemed unfit for roads, as part of the government’s public utility vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program.

“This Christmas, we call for true love to reign in ensuring the livelihood of drivers and operators with the complete scrapping of the PUV phaseout,” Manuel said.


“Likewise, we aspire for justice for the victims of the Gaza bombing, the killings in Duterte’s drug war, the bloody counterinsurgency campaign pushed by the United States, and other crimes against humanity or abuses at the hands of leaders of governments around the world,” he said.

“Let’s seriously resolve the roots of poverty and injustice in the country by advancing peace talks,” he added.

Several groups have staged transport strikes in protest of the PUV Modernization Program, claiming that the shift to modern jeepneys is unjust and unpatriotic as drivers and operators cannot shoulder the expensive vehicles that are foreign-made.

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TAGS: jeepney phaseout, Peace Talks

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