Manibela, Piston to hold more protests vs PUVMP

Manibela, Piston to hold more protests vs PUVMP

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:00 AM April 17, 2024

Manibela, Piston to hold more protests vs PUVMP


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has had enough of the series of strikes staged by transport groups Piston and Manibela, which are against the government’s long-stalled public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista warned on Tuesday that those who participated in the two-day protest, which began on Monday, April 15, may be held liable for a string of violations, such as obstruction of traffic.


“The government will prepare [to file] charges [for] whatever violations they did, government agencies will review these. What we are seeing now is obstruction of traffic which created gridlocks,” he said during the 112th founding anniversary of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Quezon City.


READ: DOTr urged to talk with transport groups before implementing PUV modernization

Check for other charges

He tasked the LTO, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Philippine National Police to check if there were other charges that could be filed against the protesters.

“We recognize their right [to peaceful assembly] to fight for their rights, but this should not compromise the rights of the traveling public,” Bautista added.

Around 8,000 members of Piston and Manibela, along with their jeepneys, ended their strike around 8 a.m. Tuesday after camping out at Welcome Rotunda for over 12 hours, causing heavy traffic on Quezon Avenue at the boundary of Quezon City and Manila.

Overnight rally

The overnight rally was blocked by the police from reaching Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang in Manila, where they were supposed to hold a program to protest the consolidation requirement under the PUVMP.

But the groups said they would stage more protests as the deadline for PUV operators to consolidate into cooperatives or corporations approaches on April 30.


“Perhaps, we will just attempt to reach Mendiola on another day. We know that Palace officials learned that we spent the night here. If only our President can see that our jeepney drivers and operators had no sleep and rest, perhaps his heart would soften,” Manibela chair Mar Valbuena said.

“We saw how passionate our members are in fighting for their cause. We hope, Mr. President, that you would listen to the appeal of our members and not just listen to a few,” he added.

Of the two-day transport strike, Bautista said it was “successful only in creating [heavy] traffic” in some areas of the country, particularly in Metro Manila.

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“But we were able to prove to them that the government was ready to address the transport issues,” he said.

TAGS: LTFRB, LTO, Manibela, Piston, PUVMP

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