No transport strike in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY — Jeepney drivers and operators here did not join Monday’s nationwide protest on the plan to phase out passenger jeepneys that are at least 15 years old.

“If the proposal is meant for public safety, we simply have to abide by what our authorities have to say. It is for our own good,” said Elorde Gaspar Sr., a jeepney driver plying the Laoag-San Nicolas route.

As part of the modernization program, the transportation department is planning to impose a 15-year age limit on public utility jeepneys (PUJs), in an effort to regulate carbon emission.

Once the proposal is approved, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is willing to provide loan assistance to PUJ operators and drivers for the purchase of brand new PUJ units.

To do so, the department would put up a guarantee fund to secure the loans of PUJ operators and drivers. The guarantee fund will come from Special Vehicle Pollution Control Funds (SVPCF), created under Republic Act No. 8794, also known as “An Act Imposing a Motor Vehicle User’s Charge on Owners of All Types of Motor Vehicles and for Other Purposes”.

In Metro Manila and some parts of the province, several transport groups joined the strike, stranding commuters on roads.