Drivers and operators condemn LTFRB again for apprehending unconsolidated jeepneys

This article is available in Pilipino

Jeep drivers and operators launched another protest today, June 10, to counter the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Land Transportation Office (LTO) threat to intensify the apprehension of jeepneys that refused to be forced into consolidation. The protests were held in Metro Manila and Iloilo City.

Hundreds of Manibela (Samahang Manibela Mananakay and Nagkaisang Terminal ng Transportasyon) members marched to the LTFRB and LTO offices in Quezon City, setting off their 3-day transport strike. The group demanded that they be allowed to ply their routes for their livelihood.

In Pateros, three associations of jeepney drivers and operators united to locally hold a protest. They condemned the LTO’s apprehension of one of their members last week. He allegedly violated the law because his jeep was not registered nor consolidated. Police confiscated his license plate and ordered him to redeem it at the LTO.

When the operator redeemed [the plate number], he was charged ₱50,000 because he was not a memeber of a consolidated franchise. The agency offered to reduce his fie to only ₱10,000 if he agrees to the forced consolidation. Drivers and operators said this is brazen extortion and harassment on those who refuse to consolidate.

The policy of forced franchise consolidation is part of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), now called Public Transport Modernization Program (PTMP) by the regime. This also governs the implementation of new jeep travel routes or Local Public Transport Route Plan (LPTRP) in the provinces.

“The Marcos Jr government blatantly shows us its utter lack of concern for the people’s grievances and it will do everything so that its accomplice big corporations can divest the PUV routes that the drivers and small operators have long been serving,” the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) stated.

The group also denounced LTFRB chairperson Teofilo Guadiz’s statement that his agency will specifically target Piston members’ routes. “This statement by Guadiz is an outright attack on organized action and the right to organize public transportation workers”, the group said.

The group asserts, “it is now more relevant to launch continuous actions for a united opposition against those who blatantly kill our public transportation.” The group is fighting for the return of their 5-year individual franchises, an end to arrests and the complete scrapping of the useless, oppressive, corrupt, and pro-foreign PUVMP.

Meanwhile, members of Manibela in Negros and Panay also rallied at the LTFRB Region 6 office in Iloilo City. They called for the resignation of LTFRB Region 6 Regional Director Atty. Salvador Altura Jr.

AB: Drivers and operators condemn LTFRB again for apprehending unconsolidated jeepneys