PUV drivers to go on strike vs higher fines

Posted at 06/16/2014 5:43 PM

MANILA -- A group of public utility drivers will not ply their usual routes on Thursday, as the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) implements higher fines and penalties for out-of-line and "colorum" vehicles.

"Sa Huwebes po marami nang natatakot bumiyahe. Uunahin ko na po, kami po ay humihingi na agad ngayon ng paumanhin sa ating mananakay dahil marami na po ang hindi bibiyahe," said Jun Magno, president of the Stop and Go Coalition, in an interview with DZMM.

Magno added the strike is not an order from the group, but is a personal decision made by some drivers.

The Stop and Go Coalition claims it has 14,000 members.

According to the group, the LTFRB should finalize the rules of engagement in the implementation of the new penalties and fines.

Magno added that they have pending franchise applications which the LTFRB failed to approve.

He said it also takes a long time for the LTFRB to look into their applications, forcing some operators and drivers to operate without proper documents.

"Hindi po kami sumasalungat dun sa sasabihin nating kolorum, out of line, tama naman po sila, ang amin lang po dito, hindi po ito ang tamang solusyon. Ang tanong, bakit po may kolorum? Bakit po may out of line? Sino po ang dahilan kung bakit nagkakaganito? Sila rin po ito," Magno said.

The group also reacted against the new policy that UV Express vans will only be allowed to pick up passengers from terminals.

"Ang mga drayber po namin ngayon natatakot na. Kasi ultimo pinakamaliit na multa ay P1,000, ang kinikita ng isang drayber ng jeep ay P500 lang ang average po n'yan."

Meanwhile, a group of UV Express drivers went on strike in Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City on Monday.

This is the group's reaction to the P200,000 fine on "colorum" vans that will be implemented on Thursday.

More than 300 UV Express drivers joined the strike and transport caravan.

The group went to the LTFRB and Land Transportation Office (LTO) where they voiced their concerns.

According to Efren de Luna, national president of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organization (ACTO), they were not consulted prior to the approval of the new policy.

"Dapat diyan ay pinag-aralan. Ang ipinagtataka ko, ilang beses pa lamang nagkakaroon ng public hearing, bakit nagkaroon kaagad ng implementasyon?" de Luna said.

He added the higher fines can also encourage corruption.

The drivers went on their usual routes after the protest. -- with reports from Dennis Datu and Leo Humangit, DZMM