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Transport strikers seek SC relief


TRANSPORT group PISTON (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide) staged a protest outside the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday to demand justice for the plight of jeepney drivers and operators who are losing their livelihood due to the government’s Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

Interviewed by BusinessWorld on the sidelines of the protest, PISTON Deputy Secretary-General Ruben G. Baylon called on Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Teofilo E. Guadiz III to weigh the “the benefits and drawbacks” of the program and “side with what is right,” especially for those who will lose their jobs.

The picket at the SC sought for the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the implementation of the PUVMP.

In a Viber message to BusinessWorld, SC Spokesperson Camille Sue Mae L. Ting said “the comment/opposition of the respondents to the supplemental petition of PISTON was filed on June 3, 2024.” She said the court was still deliberating on the matter.

Mr. Baylon urged the High Court to act swiftly to give relief to jeepney drivers and operators whose jeepneys are being apprehended and impounded.

Mr. Guadiz said around 1,900 jeepneys did not consolidate, but Mr. Baylon said the real figure is about 29,000 in Metro Manila alone.

The LTFRB and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said there are no announcements yet on a crackdown on unconsolidated jeepneys. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana

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