Bacolod, Cebu transport groups vow to hold more protests vs jeepney phaseout | Inquirer News

Bacolod, Cebu transport groups vow to hold more protests vs jeepney phaseout


NOT GIVING UP | Public utility vehicle drivers in Bacolod City hold a protest rally against the phaseout of traditional jeepneys on Araneta Street on Dec. 29, 2023. (Photo by ANDRIAN NEMES III / Contributor)

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — Jeepney drivers and operators in Cebu and Bacolod cities planned to keep up with protest actions until the government addresses their opposition to the phaseout of traditional public utility vehicles (PUJ).

While those in Bacolod took to the streets to air their grievance, the organized PUJ drivers in Cebu opted to hold a campout at the regional office of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Central Visayas (LTFRB-7) located in Cebu City from Friday until Sunday.


The protestors in Bacolod met with Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran on Friday to ask for a local resolution that would urge the national government to further study the planned phaseout.


Before the meeting, the drivers led by the Bacolod Alliance for Commuters, Operators and Drivers Inc., Manibela, and United Negros Drivers Operators Center-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide took part in a protest in front of the Fountain of Justice at Araneta Street. They were also joined by Partido Manggagawa Negros members.

The phaseout was to take effect by Dec. 31, 2023, but the drivers were given a reprieve by the Department of Transportation until Jan. 31, as part of due process to enable them to explain why they have not taken part in the consolidation requirement under the government’s PUV modernization program.

A petition is also pending before the Supreme Court to void all government orders requiring the consolidation of franchises by Dec. 31, 2023.

PM, in a statement on Friday, said the phaseout would “surely bring a disastrous New Year for thousands of drivers and operators, their families and also to commuters who for years had been dependent for the cheapest transport.”

It added: “We cannot bear that though modernization will reduce pollution in the street, it will increase the hunger incidence that our poor fellow Filipinos are experiencing these years. No to franchise consolidation, yes to individual franchises. No to jeepney phase out.”

Beating the deadline

In Cebu, Piston members held a protest on Friday with calls for “tigil pasada (transport strike) “ for public utility jeepneys (PUJs) in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu and held a “Kampuhan,” or their overnight vigil in front of the LTFRB-7.


The local traffic offices, however, said there was no transport paralysis in Metro Cebu. The LTFRB estimated that 78 percent of the public transport in Cebu have already consolidated or have applied for consolidation as of Dec. 28.

LTFRB regional director Eduardo Montealto expected the percentage to rise as there were still operators who were trying to beat the deadline, as the LTFRB-7 offices remained open during the weekend to accommodate applicants. ]

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TAGS: public utility vehicles, PUV modernization program, transport groups

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