LTFRB: Those who forced drivers to join 2-day strike will face charges
Jeepney drivers and operators who forced others to take part in the two-day nationwide transport strike will face charges for causing disturbance, according to Aileen Lizada, board member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
On Tuesday, Lizada said the LTFRB would cancel the franchise of those who could be proven to have coerced drivers and operators to join the strike – incluing George San Mateo, national president of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston).
“We will cancel franchises,” Lizada told reporters at Piston’s protest center in Cubao, Quezon City. “Sa part ni George San Mateo, since hindi naman siya operator, hindi naman may hawak ng prangkisa, ito ay isang kaso, isang violation against public service code.”
[In the part of George San Mateo, since he’s not an operator, he’s not the one who holds the franchise, this is in violation of the public service code.]
It was, however, unclear which “public service code” she was referring to.
Transport groups have the constitutional right to assembly, but the drivers also have the right to make their trips, Lizada said.
“Peaceful assembly, okay lang yon,” she said. “Do not take our roads.”
She noted that protesters obstructed public road in violation of the Philippine Highway Act.
Lizada said she had received reports that some drivers in Manila and Pampanga smashed the windshields of jeepneys to force drivers to join the protest.
Piston conducted its two-day nationwide transport strike on Monday and Tuesday to protest the looming jeepney modernization scheme, saying about 600,000 jeepney drivers and 300,000 operators could lose their livelihood once the plan takes place.
The plan aims to modernize jeepneys and usher in a “world-class” transport system.
It is set to phase out jeepneys more than 15 years old and replace them with electrically-powered vehicles with solar roofs, with each unit costing around P1.4 to P1.6 million. /atm
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