By Jan Carlo Anolin
Three large transport organizations are set to hold a nationwide transport strike on September 30, Monday, to protest the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) modernization program, a transport leader said Friday.
Efren De Luna, president of the Alliance of Concerned Organizations (ACTO), said the transport strike will be spearheaded by ACTO, Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston), and Stop and Go.
“Ang pinaglalaban po namin at kailangan ay linawin ang programa dahil yung programa po kasi ay napakalabo,” De Luna told radio DZMM.
De Luna said there were many provisions under the PUV modernization program that they might not able to comply with due to the confusing standard and financial aspects.
In particular, the groups objected the phasing out of their current units which will eventually be replaced with modernized units worth P2.5 million. “Ano iyong kakayahan ng jeepney driver, operator sa ganoong klaseng halaga?”
“Bakit pinipilit tayo doon sa sistema na ang halaga ay P2.5 million na gawa pa sa ibang bansa?” De Luna asked.
With this, De Luna said they already found a financier with better compliance for a 24-seater Euro 4 model worth P1.3 million, almost 50 percent cheaper than the government-proposed unit.
He further said that they could not rely on the Land Bank to fund the program since they believe that it could not guarantee the security of their units due to the complicated and numerous requirements.
De Luna also underscored the need for the allotment of depots or parking spaces under the program, where they could park their PUVs.
“Kung ang ruta po namin ay Quiapo, saan po kami uupa ng lupa? Kung ang ruta po namin ay San Juan, saan po kami kukuha ng lupa? ‘Yun po ang mga imposible,” De Luna said.
The duration and the exact places of the transports strike, however, were not disclosed as of this writing.