MANILA, Philippines— Transportation group, Manibela announced on Monday that they will hold a week-long strike beginning March 6 in protest of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulation Board’s (LTFRB) Circular Memorandum No. 2023-013, which sets the June 30 phase-out deadline for traditional jeepneys.
In a press conference, the Chairman of Manibela, Mar Valbuena called on the LTFRB to withdraw the directive and extend the franchise of traditional jeepneys for at least another five years.
“Sa pagsiil sa aming karapatan sa aming buhay, ang ipapantapat po namin dito, sa taning na binigay sa amin, sa taning na makapaghanapbuhay, isang linggong tigil pasada.”Manibela chairman Mar Valbuena
(In suppressing our rights, we will counter with a week-long transportation strike.)
“Sa March 6 magsisimula ito kung hindi ito babawiin ng LTFRB, isang linggong tigil pasada po nationwide lalong lalo na po dito sa NCR,” he added.
(The strike will start on March 6 if the LTFRB does not withdraw its deadline, a one-week strike nationwide, especially here in Metro Manila.)
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation has also urged transportation organizations to first cooperate in discussions with the agency before conducting a strike.
“You know, siguro dapat pag-isipan nating mabuti ‘yung pag-stop ng operations. Dapat mag-usap-usap muna. Let’s understand what the issues are, kasi baka hindi tayo nagkakaintindihan,” DOTr Sec. Jaime Bautista said in a statement.
(You know, maybe we should think carefully about stopping operations. We should talk first. Let’s understand what the issues are because maybe we don’t understand each other.)
Bautista further clarified that the government will allow transportation organizations enough time to collect funds to buy new vehicles for their operations under the PUV modernization program.
He also claimed that traditional PUV units will not be phased out in areas where organizations were unable to get new units for their assigned routes.
The official also stated that the DOTr is coordinating closely with the Development Bank of the Philippines and LandBank of the Philippines to assist transportation organizations and cooperatives in financing the purchase of modernized jeepneys.
Conventional jeepney franchises were set to expire at the end of March across the country, except Metro Manila, where they were extended till the end of April under the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program.