Poe: Nationwide transport strike ‘wake up call’ to DoTr
The transport strike that had forced Malacañang to suspend government work nationwide should serve as a “wake-up call” to the Department of Transportation, Senator Grace Poe said on Monday.
“The two-day nationwide transport strike on October 16 and 17 should serve as a wake-up call to the Department of Transportation to listen to the jeepney drivers and operators, who have been airing their woes about the program,” Poe said in a statement.
While she supports the modernization of transport system, including jeepney fleets, Poe said this should not result in the displacement of jeepney drivers, most of whom belong to the poor sector.
“We stand firm that any program to be implemented must be the outcome of transparent consultations from a broad range of stakeholders and must be equitable to all parties concerned. Unilateral decisions will prove counter-productive,” she said.
Poe echoed the sentiment of jeepney operators and drivers that the phase-out of jeepneys must be done gradually.
“Kahit anong bago ng unit mo, kung hindi mo rin ime-maintain, maluluma din agad yan. With the high costs involved, the PUV modernization program should be looking at sustainable modernized PUV fleets. Hindi pwedeng basta bago lang,” she said.
Poe added the representatives from the land transport sector must be included in the consultations. “We are hearing complaints that the public consultations have become a mere formality to satisfy the requirements of the law. Not all groups were consulted,” she said.
She said the government should aim for a “win-win solution” that would alleviate the traffic situation, help clean the environment and give productive income especially to the poor sectors of our society. /cbb
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