Commuters may face a major transport crisis as transport group MANIBELA announced they will hold a three-day transport strike, set to begin on Wednesday (Nov. 22), until Friday (Nov. 24).
According to MANIBELA president Mar Valbuena, at least 200,000 drivers and operators will join the 3-day transport strike starting Wednesday. The group is protesting the government’s PUV Modernization Program, which they claim will phase out traditional jeepneys.
The strike will coincide with the last day of the nationwide protest of PISTON, another transport group that opposes the modernization plan. PISTON staged a two-day strike last week, which disrupted the transport system in several areas and prompted the suspension of classes and work in some government offices.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have repeatedly defended the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP), saying it will improve the safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability of the public transport sector.
They also assured that the program will provide assistance and incentives to affected drivers and operators who will comply with the consolidation of franchises and the acquisition of new PUV units.
The public transport system in the Philippines is facing a major overhaul as the government pushes for the implementation of the PUVMP. The program aims to replace the old and dilapidated jeepneys, buses, and other public utility vehicles (PUVs) with new and modern units that are compliant with the Euro 4 emission standards and equipped with safety and convenience features.
Feature image: PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler