By Alexandria San Juan
A transport group leader hinted a possible massive transport strike on September should the government push through with their current policies on the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP).
“Magkakaroon na kami ng malawakan na transport strike kasama ang iba’t-ibang mga samahan. Ito ay pwedeng mangyari sa September dahil kabuhayan namin ang nakataya dito (We will be having a mass transport strike with various organizations which can happen in September because it is our livelihood that is at stake here,” Efren De Luna, president of Association of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) revealed.
De Luna made the announcement after their call for a dialogue between officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to change its requirements and policies on PUVMP fell on deaf ears during the transport protest they staged on Monday.
Members of ACTO and another transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) gathered in front of the LTFRB office in Quezon City on Monday to protest the “impossible” modernization program requirements and policies.
“Ang akala namin ay kakausapin kami ng gobyerno. Kaya gagawa kami ng alliance magsasama-sama lahat ng transport organizations para sa sabayang kilos protesta (We thought the government would reach out to us. So, we will be forming an alliance with all transport organizations for joint protest actions),” the transport leader added.
According to De Luna, he already met with leaders of various transport sectors apart from jeepneys including UV Express groups, taxis, and transport network vehicle service (TNVS) providers who gave a nod on joining the anticipated strike.
Meanwhile, the LTFRB earlier said they are open for any dialogue or meeting with transport groups to explain to them the PUVMP policies.
The agency also reiterated that the program, unless stopped by President Duterte, will still push through.
The PUVMP, launched in June 2017, is a flagship initiative of the Duterte administration that envisions a restructured, modern, well-managed and environmentally sustainable transport sector.