MANILA – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Thursday said it has canceled 20 Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) of public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators who participated in a transport strike in 2017.
LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said joining a transport holiday is in violation of LTFRB’s Memorandum Circular No. 2011-004—which states that joining any forms of protests resulting in the inconvenience of passengers is made in contempt of the franchise awarded by the government to PUV operators.
“Lumabag sila noon, harapin nila ang kinahinatnan ngayon. Hindi kami mangingiming ipatupad ang kautusang ito dahil hindi isinaalang-alang ng mga nagtigil-pasada ang kapakanan ng mga pasahero (They disobeyed in the past; they must face the consequences now. We will not hesitate to enforce this policy because those joining transport strikes do not care about their passengers),” Delgra said.
On Friday, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddess Hope Libiran said the LTFRB has revoked many PUV franchises in the past and would continue to do so without hesitation.
“Marami na pong prangkisa ang nakansela dahil sa paglabag na gaya nito, at hindi po mangingimi ang LTFRB na gawin itong muli kung kinakailangan (Many franchises have been canceled due to violations such as taking part in transport strikes. And the LTFRB would not hesitate to do this again if necessary),” Libiran said in a media statement.
Libiran added that the offices of the LTFRB and DOTr are open to listening to the concerns of PUV drivers and operators.
“Kawawa po ang mga pasahero sa gagawin nila. Marami naman pong paraan para mapakinggan nang hindi humahantong sa tigil pasada (Passengers will be pitiable because of what they’re planning to do. But there are many ways to be heard without resorting to a transport holiday),” Libiran said.
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered the LTFRB to ensure all those who join the transport strike on Monday (Sept. 30) will be held accountable.
“Ang prangkisa, pribilehiyo ‘yan at hindi karapatan. Nakasaad sa pribilehiyong ‘yan ang responsibilidad ng operator na bigyan ng komportableng biyahe ang kanyang pasahero. Kung magtitigil pasada sila, sinong kawawa? Pasahero (A PUV franchise, that’s a privilege and not a right. It is stated in that privilege the responsibility of an operator to give a convenient service to passengers. If they stop providing service, who will be adversely affected? It’s the passengers),” Tugade said.
In light of the planned transport holiday led by transport groups Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) and Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), the LTFRB—in cooperation with the DOTr, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and local government units—said they have prepared some contingency measures to ease its effects to commuters.
On Thursday, public transport groups reiterated their call for a transport strike on Monday to protest the government’s planned phase-out of jeepneys and UV express vehicles by July 2020 as part of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP).
Efren de Luna, ACTO president, clarified they are not against the modernization program but only against the immediate phaseout of non-PUVMP-compliant vehicles. Raymond Carl Dela Cruz / PNA – northboundasia.com