CAGAYAN de Oro City--Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Regional Director Aminoden Guro for Northern Mindanao on Friday said his agency is ready for the reported transport strike on Wednesday (January 24).
The Solidarity of Transport Alliance in Northern Mindanao-Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Starex-Piston), said Guro will be holding a “picket” in front of the LTRFB-10 office in Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro City to protest the government’s jeepney modernization program.
NO LONGER SAFE FOR RIDERS. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Region 10 (LTFRB-10) said it will start implementing the “Tanggal Bulok, Tanggal Usok” (TBTU) campaign to rid the streets from road-unworthy public transport. Photo courtesy of Gerry Lee Gorit
Under the program, jeepney units that have reached the mandatory 15-year old age limit are required to replace with safer and environment-friendly jeepney units.
Despite assurance from the transport group, Guro said that he is not taking his chances as he ordered the deployment of buses to fetch stranded passengers should the “picket” will turn out to be a transport strike.
Guro learned that there will be about 100 individuals who will join Starex-Piston Secretary General Ringo Lago in holding the picket in front of LTFRB-10 office on Wednesday.
On one hand, Guro warned jeepney operators from joining the protest on Wednesday. If proven, Guro said jeepney operators will face a P5,000 penalty for abandonment of service based on LTFRB Memorandum 2011-004 which stipulates the terms and conditions in the issuance of certificates of public convenience.
In a separate interview, Lago said that the picket will only last in the morning and the 100 individuals will be representing not just the transport sector, but others, such as the commuters, urban poor, students, teachers, and from religious sectors.
LTFRB is on the verge of implementing the public utility vehicle modernization program, phasing out jeepneys which could not pass road worthiness.
Guro said that under the program, jeepneys will be meticulously inspected from the functionalities and qualities of each part of the vehicle such as lights, seats and even handrails.
Piston protested the modernization saying it would hurt the majority of the jeepney operators and drivers nationwide.
The government could have ordered the jeepney operators to just overhaul their jeepneys instead of phasing them out entirely, Lago suggested.
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