Cagayan Valley unaffected by transport strike

SANTIAGO CITY — The transport strike in Cagayan Valley hardly made a dent in the passenger utility jeep operations on Monday as almost no one among the operators and drivers participated in the announced nationwide transport strike.

“The operations of jeeps and other transport utilities have been normal, as usual, as the threat of a big strike did not affect the region,” Regional Director Romeo Solomon Sergio Sales of the Land Transportation Office-Cagayan Valley told the Philippine News Agency.

This, as the Department of Transportation earlier reminded transport operators and drivers that they are obliged to serve the public.

Some public utility jeepney operators and drivers are protesting the government’s public transport modernization program.

However, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said in a statement, that the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) is not merely a vehicle modernization program. “It is a comprehensive system reform that will entirely change the public land transportation industry,” the statement read.

The modernization program started in 2017 and jeepney operators have been given until 2020 to comply with the regulations.

Nelson Escalante, secretary-general of Pinagkaisang Samahan ng Transport Operators Nationwide (PISTON) Cagayan Valley chapter, said they have been opposed to the stringent requirements and high prices of modern jeepneys ranging from PHP2.4 million to P2.9 million. Instead, they proposed remodeling of jeepneys which would only cost P590,000. Villamor Visaya/PNA-