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CHR: PUV consolidation must be voluntary, not mandatory

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Joining a cooperative under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) should be a voluntary decision on the part of affected drivers and operators, according to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), citing constitutional and international labor provisions.

In a statement released Tuesday, Jan. 30, the CHR said this position is based on Convention 87 of the International Labor Organization and Article 13, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution.

“Only by adhering to these provisions will the affected operators be dealt with proactively and compassionately,” the CHR said.

While the Commission continues to support the government’s development initiative, it said it is also advocating for advancement that responds to the needs of all people, particularly the vulnerable and marginalized.

Most of the PUV operators belonged to the marginalized sector, it noted.

“Let us continue to work together to create a just, inclusive and progressive nation that upholds the principles of humanity, empathy and responsiveness,” the CHR said.

A modernization program must be both inclusive and respectful of everyone’s rights, it stressed.

The CHR, however, acknowledged President Marcos’s effort to provide assistance to the jeepney operators by extending the deadline for PUV franchise consolidation until April 30.

The Chief Executive ordered government agencies to pool funds for a livelihood program for the affected drivers and operators of the modernization program.

Labor and Employment Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma referred to the livelihood program as “enTSUPERneur,” which offers P30,000 worth of in-kind assistance for the transport workers.

Earlier, the CHR asserted that the government must take appropriate steps to address the issue of potential income loss, and the need for a balanced and considerate approach to implementing modernization efforts to ensure they align with broader societal welfare.


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