The fight against fake modernization continues

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Thousands of drivers, operators and their families once again marched on January 16 in Manila to defend their livelihood and demand the return of their 5-year franchise. They gathered in Quezon City then conducted a caravan towards Mendiola in Manila but were blocked by police in España, Manila. They held a program here until the next morning.

Before this, they staged a picket at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on January 10 coinciding with the committee hearing on transportation regarding the call to scrap the US-Marcos regime’s fake modernization.

In the said hearing, patriotic congressmen grilled the officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) who insisted on the forced consolidation of franchises. It was revealed that a large number of jeepneys did not consolidate, contrary to the agency’s claims. Many routes have also not been fixed, which is required for consolidation.

In the Senate and Congress, there emerged calls to suspend the forced consolidation until the many issues raised by drivers and operators are resolved. There were also calls to investigate allegations of corruption committed by LTFRB officials who colluded with the former Duterte regime in the purchase of whole foreign “modern vehicles” to replace traditional jeepneys, which are partly locally manufactured.

Meanwhile, youths protested at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) office at Ortigas Center in Mandaluyong City on January 19 to condemn the bank’s role in the sham transportation modernization. The agency peddles imported “modern jeeps” under the guise of fighting “climate change.” On January 19, the same excuse was used by the Office of the Solicitor General in response to Piston’s petition against the forced consolidation of individual franchises.

The fight against fake modernization continues