MANILA -- The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Tuesday’s transport strike by the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) has failed to paralyze public transport.
LTFRB stated out of the 74 vehicles that were deployed, 13 were only used to serve 580 passengers out of an estimated 10 million jeepney riders.
“Still, this means that only less than 1 percent of the jeepney ridership were affected by today’s transport strike,” LTFRB board member and spokesperson Aileen Lizada said in a text message to reporters.
During the first day of the transport strike on Monday, 23 vehicles were used to assist 1,140 stranded commuters.
The LTFRB has also monitored that there are no reported transport strikes in Ilocos, Cagayan, Bicol, Visayas, Zamboanga, SOCCKSARGEN and Cordillera regions.
The Board is eyeing to file charges against PISTON National President George San Mateo for urging jeepney operators and drivers not to provide their services to commuters.
“PISTON President San Mateo must be held into account for the actions done by the transport group during the strike,” according to her.
The LTFRB has recently filed charges against San Mateo for violating Commonwealth Act No. 146 known as the Public Service Act before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office. The PISTON leader allegedly encouraged jeepney operators not to provide rides to commuters in defiance of the government during its transport strike last February.
PISTON National President George Mateo has stated that they are seeking for a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte on the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Furthermore, the Board is set to cancel the franchises of jeepney operators that participated in the two day transport strike.
The transport group is asking the government to put on hold the implementation of the program to pave way for a review of its guidelines. “We are asking specifically for a framework that will enable a nationalized, efficient and affordable public transportation system in the country. The government should not modernize public transport in favor of large companies and monopolies as this would lead to the disenfranchisement of jeepney operators and drivers,” PISTON national president George San Mateo said in a television interview.
The DOTr and LTFRB issued a statement asking for support of the PUVMP as they reiterated that the program aims to ensure an efficient, safe, comfortable, PWD friendly and environmentally sustainable mode of transportation to commuters.
They called on PISTON to have a discussion with them on the benefits of the modernization program.
Under the PUV Modernization Program, jeepney units that are 15 years old will be replaced with Euro 4 engines or electrically-powered engines with solar panels for roofs. These will also be equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, a GPS navigation system, an Automatic Fare Collection System (AFCS), speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi. (PNA)