Transport group Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators ng Pilipinas Genuine Organization (Stop and Go Coalition) is plotting a 3-day nationwide strike to protest against the modernization of old jeepneys.
In a report by PhilStar, the group refused to disclose the exact day of when the strike will be held. However, Stop and Go president Jun Magno told reporters that it will be announced the night before the actual protest.
As a review, it was earlier in January when transport groups started to challenge the government's plan to phase out old jeepneys as part of the modernization plan. Of note, this will be the 3rd transport strike against the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)’s proposed scheme.
Meanwhile, Magno added that the group is planning to double the areas to be affected compared from the routes paralyzed in the February 6 strike, which affected around 15,000 commuters. The transport group is slamming LTFRB's measure requiring operators to have at least P7 million capital to operate.
On the flipside, LTFRB iterates that instead of protesting, transport groups should submit a counter-proposal to peacefully resolve the issue. With this said, LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada warned those who will join the strike that they may face a franchise revocation or suspension. Yet, she explained that the government would lay fund for jeepney drivers and operators as part of the modernization program.
Moreover, Lizada said that the LTFRB, together with the joint quick response teams from different government agencies are ready to provide enough assistance during the strike. Additional help would come from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), who said that they would provide trucks to transport stranded commuters.
Unconvinced, transport groups Stop and Go and Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) remain firm about pushing through with their protests until the plan to phase out old jeepneys gets a full suspension.
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Azarias.