MANILA—The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday said it will soon issue show cause orders against public utility vehicle (PUV) operators who took part in Monday’s transport strike.
In an advisory, the LTFRB reiterated it will not hesitate to cancel the franchises of the PUV operators which so far include the 200 buses of Jell Transport and Corinthian Liner in 2010 with another 25 franchises canceled recently from 2017 to this year.
“Kapag mapatunayan na lumahok nga (If it is confirmed they have taken part on Monday’s transport strike)—which is violative of that policy and the franchise that was given to them—either masuspendido or makansela ang prangkisa nila (either their franchise is suspended or canceled),” LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said in a press conference on Monday.
The LTFRB chief said they merely enforce the same directive given to them by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade which was strict enforcement of policies surrounding the granting of a public transportation franchise.
“Kung sino man yung mga PUV operators na lumalahok at nadawit sa transport strike ay paglabag po yan sa prangkisa na binigay sa kanila (Whoever those PUV operators who joined and took part in the transport strike disobeyed the franchise given to them),” Delgra said.
Although outside the LTFRB’s jurisdiction, Delgra said drivers found to have taken part in the transport holiday also face suspension or cancelation of their licenses, especially those who have been violent or destructive in their protests.
“Part of the decision that we normally issue is the recommendation to suspend or cancel the driver’s license of these drivers. But we would endorse that to the LTO (Land Transportation Office),” Delgra said.
Some protesters were seen to have been forceful, with some blocking or throwing objects at PUVs plying their routes on Monday.
“I’m also getting reports na may hinaharang, may binabato, may tinatakot. Sa Cavite, sa Pampanga, sa Dagat-dagatan, Caloocan—dito po, yung mga reports na natatanggap natin (I’m also getting reports that there were some who were blocked, stoned, or threatened. In Cavite, Pampanga, Dagat-dagatan, Caloocan—these are where we received those reports),” Delgra said.
In a press conference on Monday, transport cooperatives Libra TSC, Common TSC, Taguig TSC, Basicano TSC and Pasang Masda JDOSI (Pasang Masda) said operators and drivers should take their concerns to the DOTr and the LTFRB instead of causing inconvenience to the riding public.
“Hindi po kalye ang makapagbibigay ng solusyon. Marami tayong naperwisyo na mananakay pati ang mga driver hindi kumita sa araw na ito dahil doon sa maling hakbang nilang ginagawa (It’s not the streets that will solve the problem. We have caused inconvenience to many commuters as well as drivers who were not able to make a living because of their wrong decision),” Obet Martin of Pasang Masda said.
Martin also testified that applying for a loan for a modern PUV unit is not as difficult as some have said.
“It’s so easy to apply! Nag-apply kami, nag-comply kami, naaprubahan kami. Intindihin kasi nila ang binabasa nila at ang hinihingi ng bangko. Kooperatiba or korporasyon ang uutang at hindi indibidwal (We applied, we complied, and we were approved. They should understand what they’re reading and the requirements by the bank. It’s the cooperative or corporation which will borrow the money, not the individual),” Martin said.
The effects of Monday’s transport strike were relatively negligible, Delgra said, as the national government and local government units worked together to provide free public transportation, additional PUVs, school and work suspension, and strict traffic and law enforcement in major roads.
The protesters said their transport holiday was successful since their protest resulted in the cancelation of classes and work but Delgra said the decision of the LGUs was made for the welfare of the public. Raymond Carl Dela Cruz / PNA – northboundasia.com