Transport group to hold another ‘tigil pasada’ a week before Simbang Gabi

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines — Up to 17 hitchhikers were injured when a light truck carrying them rolled over at a stretch of a highway in Makilala town in Cotabato province on Monday afternoon.

In an initial report released an hour after the incident, the Makilala Municipal Police Station said the ill-fated white Bonggo light truck came from President Roxas town in Cotabato, en route to Malungon, Sarangani, when it figured in the accident.

Witnesses have told policemen who responded to the accident that the vehicle first hit a fruit vending stall along a stretch of the highway in Barangay Bulatukan before it turned-turtle and landed at one side of the thoroughfare.

All of its injured passengers a nd driver were transported to different hospitals by municipal emergency responders for treatment, according to the Makilala MPS.

MANILA, Philippines — Weeks before the public utility vehicle (PUV) consolidation deadline, transport group Piston will hold another transport strike on December 14 to 15.

The protest aims to oppose the December 31 deadline for PUV consolidation, which the group argues will strip jeepney drivers and operators of their livelihoods.

The group urged the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to entirely scrap the PUV modernization program, which mandates jeepney operators to transition to modern units priced at P2.8 million each.

RELATED: Piston slams June 30 jeepney phaseout order, says minibuses worth P2.8-M burying operators in debt

“Ito ba ang pamasko sa atin ng DOTr (Department of Transportation) at LTFRB? Ang pagkawala ng kabuhayan ng libo-libong tsuper at operator? Mahiya naman sila. Andami nilang pamilyang gugutumin pagpasok ng bagong taon,” Piston National President Mody Floranda said in a statement.

(Is this the DOTr and LTFRB’s idea of a Christmas gift? Stripping thousands of drivers and operators of their livelihoods? They should be ashamed. The ir actions will lead to hunger for many families as the new year approaches.)

Before the December 31 deadline, traditional jeepneys and UV Express drivers and operators must merge into cooperatives or corporations. Those who don’t comply will be instructed to cease operations as mandated by the PUV modernization program.

“Ano ba ang pumipigil kay Guadiz (LTFRB chief Teofilo Guadiz III)? Isang memorandum circular lang nila, mababasura na ang deadline. Kung gusto nila, kami na ang mag-draft para pipirmahan na lang niya,” Floranda said.

(What’s holding Guadiz back? Just one memorandum circular from them, and the deadline will be nullified. If they want, we’ll even draft it ourselves for him to just sign.)

On November 20, Guadiz said that drivers and operators don’t necessarily need the consolidation process to be finalized by December 31. A simple filing should suffice to be recognized as consolidated.

“By the mere filing, puwede ka na ma-consider as consolidated (By the mere filing, you can be considered consolidated),” Guadiz said in a press briefing.

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