Stop Fake Modernization, No to Phase out of PUVs
Belying the so-called strong support backing Department Order No. 2017-011 or the Omnibus Guidelines on Planning and Identification of Public Road Transportation Services and Franchise Issuance by the Department of Transportation (DOTr), presidents of various public utility jeepney federations have banded together in an effort to stop the implementation of the said order which is already being rolled out across the country by the DOTr and the LTFRB.
Under the said order, public utility vehicle operators are required to equip their vehicles with a EURO 4 engine or higher, use environment friendly fuels and revamp their vehicle design to provide for doors at the side. Also, they are required to install WIFI, GPS, close circuit television system (CCTV) as well as an Automatic Fare Collection mechanism in their units. Also, drivers will become salaried rather than commission basis.
But the biggest change would be that franchises will only be awarded to corporations or cooperatives or private entities with twenty units and after three years the minimum number to qualify for a franchise will be raised to 40 units.
“Much like fake news, we see this order will bring with it fake modernization and this means phasing out of existing public utility vehicles like jeepneys, buses, taxis, UVs and even tricycles, “ according to Dan Yumul Spokesperson of SAMAHAN NG MGA TSUPER AT OPERATOR TUTOL SA PUV-PHASE-OUT (STOP).
The group is made up of various PUV federation presidents who are bucking the new set of DOTr guidelines which it says is lopsidedly favoring big operators and big business rather than the many small drivers and operators who can barely hold onto one unit to eke out a living.
According to Yumul, if unchecked not only will the order displace thousands of drivers and operators and give public transport service to a select few able to meet the pro-rich standards outlined by the order.
“Mababaon kami sa utang kung sapilitang ipatutupad sa mga jeepney drivers at operators ang naturang guidelines,” added Yumul as referring to the proposed changes that could run into millions of pesos, much too prohibitive for the bulk drivers and operators who may only own or lease one or two units.
SAMAHAN NG MGA TSUPER AT OPERATOR TUTOL SA PUV-PHASE-OUT (STOP) demanded the following:
- Stop the implementation of the Department Order 2017-011.
- Amend the 15 year limit on engines as set forth in the Clean Air Act.
- Stringently uphold the regulations on Emission Testing and Road Worthiness.
- Let those which continue to meet the standards, ply their routes (Hayaan ang mga pasado sa standards ay patuloy na pumasada)
- If there is a need to introduce Euro 4-5 engines or e-jeepneys, make it optional rather than mandatory. For instance, a government program can be setup to buy old jeepneys at their present market value price and said amount will be deducted from the cost of buying a new unit.
Other sectors like labor center, Workers for Peoples Liberation, also supported the call of the affected drivers as possible changes in the franchise regulations and standards can be passed onto the commuting public which are mostly workers via fare increases.
Yumul ends by clarifying that if the government is sincere in trying to modernize public transport, affected drivers and conductors should also be included in the consultations and drafting of plans rather than just big corporate interests in the transport industry. ####
July 12, 2017