Drivers and jeepney operators reject "alternative livelihood program"

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This article is available in Pilipino

Jeep drivers and operators rejected the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) offer of an “alternative livelihood program” after the bogus transportation modernization program deprived them of their livelihood.

The department reiterated its offer on May 16, coinciding with the LTFRB’s threat of “crackdown” on jeepneys that rejected forced franchise consolidation. Part of the “alternative training” is the free TESDA training which it called “EnTSUPERneur” and “Tsuper Iskolar.”

The drivers said they would not be needing an alternative livelihood had the government not denied their franchises. They said their skill is in driving and they passed tests to become professional drivers. They ask how they will support their families and send their children to school if they are stuck in TESDA “training” for jobs that are far from their skills.

Meanwhile, PISTON demanded that jeepneys that did not consolidate not be apprehended as they are not “kolorum” (unregistered).

“Our jeepneys are not illegal because they have legitimate franchises. Their franchises only expired because the LTFRB refused to renew them,” said Mody Floranda, Piston national president, in a radio interview. He explained, kolorum are those vehicles that are not registered as passenger transport vehicles but still engage in transport. Drivers of jeepneys, on the other hand, hold a franchise and thus have legitimate right to ply their routes.

“(Franchises) cannot be seized arbitrarily from our operators,” Floranda said. The LTFRB should go through a process where it will first summon the drivers who do not “obey” the PUVMP, and not just apprehend them and impound their vehicles, he said.

As of Piston’s last report, no driver has yet been called by the LTFRB “to explain.” Instead, police have started apprehending unconsolidated jeepneys, despite the LTFRB having no documents and guidelines to do so.

AB: Drivers and jeepney operators reject "alternative livelihood program"