LTFRB urges transport groups to cancel nationwide strike on Monday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25)— The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) called on major transport groups to cancel their planned nationwide transport strike set for Monday, September 30.

In a statement Wednesday, the transport regulator appealed to the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO) and the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) to “reconsider their plans” to hold the major transport strike, which comes in line with their protest against the government’s controversial public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program.

“The agency is strongly urging the group not to push through with the disruptive protest as this will surely inconvenience the riding public and may jeopardize public safety,” LTFRB said in its statement.

LTFRB likewise warned that operators who join the transport holiday may face suspension or revocation of franchise, as a transport strike “is in direct violation of the provisions contained in their franchise.”

The government’s PUV modernization program, which plans to phaseout old jeepneys and UV Express service vehicles by 2020, has been labelled by transport groups and netizens as ”anti-poor.”

By next year, authorities will only issue franchises to operators with jeeps that have environment-friendly engines as well as security features. The modern jeep costs P1.2 million to P1.8 million per unit.

LTFRB meanwhile urged transport group and operators to participate in dialogues with the government to discuss pressing concerns on the implementation of the modernization program.