Photos by Rica Silva and Kate Rica Simple

Transport groups composed of jeepney drivers and operators staged a protest today from Welcome Rotonda to Mendiola in Manila to express their indignation over the PUV modernization program.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transporation Office (LTO) initiated the PUV modernization program in June last year. Jeepneys that were more than 15 years old are to be taken off the roads and be replaced by electronic jeeps.

San Mateo added, “Kaya natin tinawag na ‘pekeng modernization’ dahil ito ay negosyo. Magreresulta ito sa kawalan ng hanapbuhay ng mga jeepney driver at maliliit na operator.

[We call it ‘fake modernization’ because this is a business. This will result in loss of livelihood for jeepney drivers and small operators.]

PISTON and the No To Jeepney Phase Out Coalition (NTJPOC) urged the government to scrap the jeepney phaseout and come up with another modernization with consultations from the public sector, including drivers, operators, and the riding public. The groups also amplifies their call for a genuine national transport system over a modernization program that, according to them, are schemes for corporations to monopolize the transport industry.

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