PUJ drivers to hold rally Monday
The Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Piston)-Cebu will hold anew a simultaneous rally Monday to protest against the plan to phase out jeepney units at least 15 years old.
The protest, which will start at 6 a.m., aims to prod government to give up its planned phaseout of old jeepneys, and a required P7 million minimum capital for jeepney operators and 10 minimum units for each franchise.
"Dili ni transport strike ang amoa pero transport protest isip sa pagsanong sa panawagan sa among kaubanan sa Manila nga mopahigayon og duha ka adlaw nga transport strike," said Greg Perez, Piston-Cebu coordinator.
Perez said they have designated protest areas in the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and Cebu where protesters will converge from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and then they will proceed to Colon Street in Cebu City where the group will hold a program.
Around 150 PistonCebu's members are expected to temporarily stop plying their normal routes to attend the picket.
Perez assured that the rally won't cripple the public transportation in Metro Cebu.
"Wala mi katuyuan nga among i-paralyzed ang transportasyon sa Metro Cebu kay mga 150 ka mga drivers lang ang mokuyog," he said.
Piston has been conducting a series of transport protests in Cebu this year.
Drivers affiliated with Piston are against Department Order 2017-011 or the Omnibus Guidelines on the Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance that was signed by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.
The order also mandates the examination of drivers for the renewal of their license and the mandatory enrollment of Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers in a Driver's Academy, a program of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Perez described the order as anti-poor, as only drivers who are high school graduates are allowed to enroll.
Under the OFG, the local government unit is mandated to formulate its local transport route plan (LTRP), which doesn't sit well with PISTON members.
The LTRP is a requirement for the lifting of the moratorium on franchise issuance.
Since 2003, LTFRB has a moratorium on the issuance of new franchises for public utility vehicles, including buses, mini-buses, and taxi and jeepney units.
The franchise moratorium will only be lifted once LGUs have an approved LTRP.