A transport strike by PISTON is scheduled to take place from November 20 to 23, 2023
PISTON – The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide is organizing a nationwide transport strike in protest of the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP). The strike is scheduled to take place from November 20 to November 23, 2023.
PISTON argues that the PUVMP is a threat to their livelihoods as it involves taking away their franchises to pave the way for the monopoly of large corporations in the transportation sector. The government’s modernization program, initiated in 2017, aims to replace traditional jeepneys with vehicles equipped with at least a Euro 4-compliant engine to reduce pollution. However, drivers and operators have expressed concerns about the high costs involved, which can exceed P2 million.
Transport officials have clarified that traditional jeepneys can continue to operate beyond the December 31, 2023 deadline if they join transport cooperatives to prevent on-street competition among drivers and operators. The original deadline was set for June 30, 2023, but it was extended to the end of the year after a previous transport strike in March 2023.
In March, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. expressed his commitment to ensuring that no driver loses their job due to the PUVMP. He acknowledged the concern of drivers who may face difficulties in obtaining loans to purchase new vehicles, particularly electric ones. The government, including the Department of Transportation, has indicated a willingness to review the 2017 Omnibus Franchising Guidelines, which form the basis for the PUVMP.
“Ang problema na kanilang sinasabi ay baka hindi sila mapautang para makapagbili ng bagong sasakyan kaya’t yan ang tinitignan namin ngayon na tiyakin na walang mawawalan ng trabaho dahil hindi nakapagbili ng electric vehicle pagdating ng panahon,” the president said as per GMA News.
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