DAVAO CITY – Drivers and operators of public utility jeepneys trooped to the office of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to call for the junking of the jeepney phaseout proposal of the government which they claimed will be implemented by January next year.
George San Mateo, convener of No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition said they will not stop protesting even this holiday season until the government junks the plan.
“Kahit magpapasko, hindi kami titigil sa pagprotesta hangga’t hindi binabasura ang iskemang jeepney phaseout. Paano magiging maligaya ang pasko at masagana ang bagong taon namin kung nanganganib naman kaming tanggalan ng hanap-buhay? (Even if Christmas is coming, we will not stop our protests until the scheme to phase out jeepneys is junked. How will our Christmas be merry and our New Year bountiful when our livelihood is in danger?)” he said.
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has clarified that the phaseout of jeepneys older than 15 years will not yet be implemented next year. The LTFRB also said the drivers and operators may substitute their old units voluntarily.
However, San Mateo said they are not convinced that the substitution of old units is on voluntary basis. He said the DOTC may manipulate the proposal and implement it while the drivers and operators are busy during the holidays.
During their protest action the drivers burned a picture of those who they alleged as behind the jeepney phaseout scheme including President Benigno Aquino III, DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya and former DOTC secretary Mar Roxas. (davaotoday.com)