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Manibela, Piston plan two-day transport strike from April 15

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Tranport groups Manibela and Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston) on Thursday threatened to go on a two-day transport strike starting April 15 to protest the April 30 deadline for the consolidation of franchises under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

“We cannot afford what you (government) are talking about consolidation. We cannot afford what you say is a modern minibus,” Manibela president Mar Valbuena said.

“Those who are calling for the modernization of the traditional jeepneys that are sturdy, well-maintained and Filipino-made… you who are complaining, you are not taking a public ride,” he added.

Piston said the deadline must be set aside due to a pending injunction petition against the PUVM at the Supreme Court.

“The series of hearings of the PUVMP in the Chamber has not yet ended, and that our petition before the Supreme Court against it is still pending but the regime is hastening the seizure of the jobs of drivers and small operators,” its statement read.

According to Valbuena, about 30,000 jeepney drivers would join the protest in Metro Manila and 100,000 others in the provinces.

He maintained only the House of Representatives has the power to revoke franchises.

Mody Floranda, Manibela president, said “what the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board released is that during January to Jan. 31 they are saying that our traditional jeepneys will still be allowed to travel but this is part of the LTFRB’s procedure to send a summons to our operators and explain why did not comply with the issue of the government’s modernization program,” he said.


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