Some transport groups have expressed that they will not be joining the planned week-long strike starting March 6.
In an interview with dzBB, Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP) President Ricardo Rebaño said they do not want people to suffer from the lack of public transport.
“It’s not just the majority, but 98 percent (of the FEJODAP members) that I talked to, even our groups outside of NCR (National Capital Region) called me to say that they will not join the strike because they do not want the people who are depending on public transport to suffer,” Rebaño said.
Asked on discussions on the concept of the modern jeepney, Rebaño said the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) was “very open” to retaining the traditional jeepney as long as it complied with the modernization standards of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) .
He said LTFRB chairman Teofilo Guadiz III encouraged them to look for suppliers of modern jeepney units.
“That means there are manufacturers available here. We just have to debate on the price of the units,” Rebaño told dzBB.
Rebaño said they could also assist the passengers whose routes are affected by the strike if the LTFRB gives them special permits.
“We can do that. We can support those who will lose jeepneys in their routes. As long as the government issues us special permits, it’s not going to be a problem,” he said.
Other groups who will not join the weekly strike are the National Federation of Transport Cooperatives (NFTC), Alliance of Transport Operators’ and Drivers’ Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP), Liga ng Transportasyon at Operators sa Pilipinas (LTOP), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO), Pasang Masda (PM) Jeepney, Stop and Go Coalition, Senate Employees Transport Service Cooperative (SETSCO) and UV Express National Alliance of the Philippines (UV Express).
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has prepared a security plan to address the possible lack of transport.
In a separate interview with dzBB, PNP Public Information Officer (PIO) Col. Redrico Maranan said they will place the areas affected by the strike under heightened alert level status.
“Based on our available resources, our vehicles will be used to give free rides to passengers who will be affected by the week-long strike,” Maranan said.
“We are going to raise the alert level status. We will deploy police in the places where the public rides so we can give them enough security. We will impose the heightened alert level status tomorrow or later this evening. That means 80 percent of the police should be on duty,” he added. Jaspearl Tan/DMS