PISTON expresses its concerns about the massive job losses and the disruption of public transport that may arise after January 31, when unconsolidated public utility vehicles will no longer be allowed to operate.
Data from the LTFRB shows that most of the jeepney and UV Express routes in Metro Manila will be affected by the deadline. There are 395 jeepney routes and 108 UV Express routes in the capital region that have no consolidated units. Additionally, there are 337 jeepney routes and 68 UV Express routes in Metro Manila that have less than 60% consolidation. Meanwhile, all over the country, there are still 1,767 routes with no consolidated vehicles.
“The franchise consolidation scheme of the Marcos regime is a failure. Thousands of drivers and operators will be displaced if the deadline pushes through,” said Mody Floranda, PISTON National President.
PISTON argues that the government’s desperate attempt to provide “livelihood programs” for affected transport workers exposes its awareness of the huge job losses that the PUV modernization program will inflict.
“The government’s insistence on consolidation is unjustified. They are just rushing to benefit their accomplice businessmen and corporations in public transport. Instead of stopping the program to prevent any adverse effects, they are scrambling to find funds for the so-called assistance and impounding. Well, they openly admit that they are failing,” Floranda added.
The group said the mass transport disaster requires an urgent and clear solution from the LTFRB and instead of hastily resorting to inadequate measures, it is more sensible to just scrap the program altogether and think of better ways to implement a more progressive public transport system. PISTON also urges the Supreme Court and legislators to immediately intervene and prevent this transport fiasco caused by Marcos Jr and his cohorts in the DOTr and LTFRB.