Despite the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) decision to extend the deadline for jeepney operators to join or form cooperatives to December 31, 2023, the transport group Manibela said that the week-long transport holiday will push through next week.
“Isa lang ang sasabihin ko, tuloy po ang tigil-pasada,” Mar Valbuena, chairperson of the transport group Manibela, said.
According to the LTFRB, they will issue a new memorandum circular that is aimed to extend the scheduled June 30 deadline for the consolidation.
But Valbuena noted they have yet to see the copy of the said document.
He admitted that he was informed about the stance and statement, but it did not include solutions to one of their grievances.
“2021 pinutol ang consolidation. May mga iba-ibang transport cooperative tapos nung pinutol ‘yun, di kami natapos, basura na. Back to zero. Ngayon, kung gusto namin sumali, po-proseso ulit kami pero doon na sa naunang kooperatiba na nag-comply,” he said.
“Ano implications nito? Hindi na kami magiging kooperatiba. ‘Yung mga miyembro po namin na kasama sa kooperatiba sasali sa existing kooperatiba na naunang nakapag-comply o napayagan. Ano mangyayari don? Magm-miyembro na naman kami….May membership fee na naman. Panibagong gastos ulit,” said.
Valbuena pointed out that some 40,000 public utility vehicles (PUV) will join the strike and they expect to paralyze the transport system in Metro Manila from March 6 to March 12, 2023.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier expressed hope that the week-long transport strike would not push through.
Jeepney drivers and operators are required to join or form cooperatives under the PUV Modernization Program, which aims to replace traditional jeepneys with vehicles powered by more environment-friendly fuels.
Operators and drivers can apply for new franchises but as part of transport cooperatives.
Catherine R. Cueto