Transport group PISTON announces it will be part of the nationwide transport strike against the PUV phaseout and the policies of the government’s PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) that will commence on Monday, March 6, 2023.
“Hindi sapat ang puro extension. Hindi puwedeng hayaang i-masaker ang prangkisa ng mga indibidwal na operator para i-monopolyo ng malalaking korporasyon. Ang panawagan natin ay tuluyang pagpapabasura ng iskemang franchise consolidation at pagpapatupad ng maka-masang modernisasyon (Extensions are not enough. We cannot allow individual operators to have their licenses to be monopolized by large corporations. Our call is for the complete abolishment of the franchise consolidation scheme and the implementation of a pro-people modernization),” said Mody Floranda, PISTON national president.
Sectoral groups of workers, youth, women, urban poor, commuters, and transport workers including PISTON and Manibela have now come together under the No to PUV Phaseout Coalition to spearhead the strikes and protests.
They demand Marcos Jr to immediately issue an Executive Order junking the DOTr Department Order 2017-011 or the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG) and its implementing LTFRB Memorandum Circulars that mandate individual franchise holders to consolidate under a fleet management system.
For PISTON, the current fleet management system being promoted by the government through the OFG will displace thousands of drivers and operators or make them suffer worse working conditions. “Huwag na tayong maglokohan. Ang puwersahang franchise consolidation ay puwersahang phaseout (Let’s not fool ourselves. Forced franchise consolidation is a forced phaseout),” said Floranda.
The coalition calls for a pro-people modernization program through the rehabilitation of traditional jeepneys, more subsidy and support for PUV drivers and small operators, and a stronger government role in developing the country’s public mass transportation instead of overly relying on importation, privatization, deregulation, and corporatization.