An alliance of commuters launched the initiative PasaHero para kay TsuperHero to support the fight of drivers and operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the face of the phaseout starting of traditional jeepneys.
“Tayo naman ang tutulong kay Manong Drayber!” the alliance said.
According to the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr himself, the franchise consolidation deadline on December 31 will push through despite protests against the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Transport groups held that the PUVMP program of the government launched in 2017, and the franchise consolidation component of the program, leads to the phaseout of traditional jeepneys and loss of livelihood for its operators and driver. Small and single operators would lose their own franchises and only moneyed cooperatives or corporations who can fulfill the PUVMP’s mandate of 15 or more in a single franchise will be allowed.
Transport groups PISTON and MANIBELA have been conducting transport strikes this year to protest the deadline. PISTON held a transport strike from December 14-15, while Manibela announced another transport strike from December 18 to 29.
According to the groups, they are not against modernization and are willing to have a dialogue with the government about rehabilitation and job security.
Jeepney drivers and operators were also unable to shoulder the costs of the modern jeepney – starting from P1.4 million cash or about P2.8 million if bought on loan – and would also render their current units idle. Drivers earn from P200 to 500 a day, with oil price hikes affecting their income while also recognizing the need to keep the fares affordable to commuters.
The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives filed House Resolution 1506 on December 7 to urge the LTFRB to junk PUVMP and remove the franchise deadline on December 31. How this will fare, with both houses of Congress allied with the president, remains to be seen.
“Sa kawalan ng tunay na makamamamayang solusyon ang administrasyong Marcos-Duterte para sa ating transportasyon. Humihiling kami ng pamaskong tulong at nananawagan na magbayanihan tayong mga PasaHero para kay Tsuper-Hero,” the alliance said.
[The Marcos-Duterte administration lacks a real pro-people solution for our transportation. We are asking for help this Christmas and calling for PasaHero para kay Tsuper-Hero to join hands.]
For updates, follow PasaHero para kay TsuperHero Facebook page. Donations in kind and cash are accepted. For GCash, refer to the QR code below.