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 Freeman - - NEWS - — Mitchelle L. Palaub­sanon/ KBQ

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.

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