PUV forced consolidation deadline pushed back anew

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The collective action of drivers and operators, led by the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston), Samahang Manibela Mananakay and Nagka-Isang ng Transportasyon Association (Manibela), and Tanggol Pasada Network, pushed the US-Marcos regime to once again extend the deadline of the forced consolidation of the franchise of public utility vehicles (PUV) at the end of January. Forced consolidation is part of the government’s bogus PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP). The regime moved the deadline to April 30 from the previous December 31, 2023 which was earlier extended to January 31.

The deadline extension was announced after the second hearing of the congressional transportation committee on January 24, which discussed the uselessness and utter failure of the PUVMP. Until now, a large number of jeepney drivers and operators refuse to consolidate, contrary to the regime’s statement. Many more routes do not yet have consolidated franchises.

The groups consider the deadline suspension as victory of their collective action. Nevertheless, they continue to demand the scrapping of the entire scheme of forced consolidation and PUVMP. They said they will use this as platform for launching bigger actions against the program.

The third hearing on January 31 meanwhile discussed the issue of forced consolidation which according to some lawmakers could be considered unconstitutional and a violation of the rights of drivers and operators. The two groups also protested before the Supreme Court in Manila on January 23 to call for its support in relation to their petition to stop the forced consolidation of the franchise and the PUVMP. They timed the protest while the court was holding an en banc session.

PUV forced consolidation deadline pushed back anew