Jeepney groups hold transport caravan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Jeepney drivers held on Monday (January 4) a transport caravan against the government's plan to phase out public utility vehicles that are over 15 years old.

In a Facebook post, transport partylist Piston (Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide), said that 30 jeepneys carrying a group of 500 composed of jeepney operators, drivers, and local jeepney assemblers assembled at the head office of the Department of Transportation and Communications in Mandaluyong.

"Gusto nating matiyak na yung ating mga application for registration at confirmation ng ating mga jeepneys lalong-lalo na yung mga more than 15 years old ay gusto nating matiyak na tanggapin pa rin ang LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board] at LTO [Land Transportation Office]," said Piston President George San Mateo.

[Translation: "We want to make sure that our applications for registration and confirmation for our jeepneys, especially those more than 15 years old, will still be accepted by the LTFRB and the LTO."]

Mateo added that the DOTC's proposal to phase out jeepneys over 15 years old will affect hundreds of thousands of jeepney drivers and jeepney operators around the country.

"Yung phase out ng mga 15 years model and above na magreresulta sa pangmasaker ng kabuhayan ng mahigit 600,000 na jeepney drivers at more than 250,000 jeepney operators nationwide."

[Translation: "The phase out of models 15 years old and above will result in the massacre of the livelihood of approximately 600,000 jeepney drivers and more than 250,000 jeepney operators nationwide."]

For his part, No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition Spokesperson Anselmo Perweg said that they have to be vigilant against any attempt from the government to block the registration and franchise of jeepneys older than 15 years.

While the government has already delayed the implementation of the plan, he said that the group wants the entire plan scrapped.