A jeepney driver gestures as he takes part in a protest against the jeepney modernisation plan in Manila on January 16, 2024. Philippine jeepney drivers staged a noisy protest in the capital Manila on January 16 over the government’s plan to phase out the smoke-belching vehicles nationwide and replace them with modern mini-buses. (Photo by JAM STA ROSA / AFP)




Manibela on Wednesday vowed to storm the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRAB) should the agencies apprehend operators and drivers of unconsolidated franchises that continue to operate after the Jan. 31 consolidation deadline.

Manibela president Mar Valbuena said: “We really do not know what will happen on Feb. 1. It is beyond our control if they still ply the streets because they want to earn for living to feed their families. But we will not abandon them.

“We will hold protests in front of the LTO and LTFRB,” he also told The Manila Standard.

He questioned both agencies for not going after unregistered vehicles or the so-called colorum units.  “I guess they will still operate once their stomach is empty of food. They will not be afraid to do so,” he said.

He, however, welcomed the support of Pasang Masda and the other transport groups for the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.

Mody Floranda, PISTON president, filed a petition for a restraining order with the Supreme Court  to halt the implementation of the modernization program that would replace the traditional jeepneys with the modern units worth P2.6 million to P2.8 million each.

Major national transport groups on Wednesday expressed support to the government’s “long overdue” public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program as they emphasized its potential to revolutionize public transportation for the benefit of commuters.

Leaders from transport groups Pasang Masda, Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations, Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines, Stop and Go Transport Coalition, and Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas as well as UV Express National Alliance of the Philippines said implementation of the PUVMP is long overdue, stressing that commuters will vastly benefit from the program.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will province P30,000 worth of assistance to jeepney drivers and operators affected by the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program through its “enTSUPERneur” livelihood program.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Bienvenido  Laguesma said that  each affected transport worker is provided a minimum worth of P30,000 in-kind livelihood assistance through the nationwide alternative livelihood program.

He said the department has a list of livelihood projects that the beneficiaries may choose from, including rice retailing, variety store and food stall establishment, animal raising, agricultural input provision, and tailoring, among others.