By Benjamin Pulta

PRO-MODERNIZATION. Transport group leaders file a petition to intervene before the Supreme Court in Manila on Monday (Jan. 15, 2024), urging the high court to allow the jeepney modernization scheme to proceed. The petitioners said stopping the program would be disadvantageous to the majority of jeepney operators and drivers who have opted to comply with the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program. (PNA photo by Benjamin Pulta)

MANILA – Leaders of transport groups filed a petition on Monday urging the Supreme Court not to stop the implementation of the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP).

The petitioners are members of Pasang Masda Nationwide, Inc. (Pasda Masda), Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (Altodap), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), and Liga ng mga Transportation at mga Operator ng Pilipinas (LTOP).

The groups asked the tribunal to allow them to intervene in a suit earlier filed by other jeepney groups like Piston, Bayan Muna party-list and other progressive groups seeking the suspension of the government’s PUVMP.

Pasang Masda national president Obet Martin told the media that stopping the implementation of the program would be disadvantageous to the majority of jeepney operators and drivers who have complied with the PUVMP requirements.

Sa aming pagtingin ay maraming option na mapapamilian ng units na mas mababa ang presyo na compliant sa pamantayan ng batas (The way we see it, many options are available to buy units at a cheaper price that still comply with the standards set by law),” Martin said, disputing claims on prohibitive prices of modern jeepneys.

Martin also said his group welcomes proposals to have drivers in reorganized transport cooperatives be covered by the Social Security System and other benefits.

The petition came a day before another group, Manibela, announced plans to lead a protest against the PUVMP.

Manibela and other groups will assemble 9 a.m. at University of the Philippines-Diliman in Quezon City, march toward España in Manila, converge at Mabuhay (Welcome) Rotonda that separates Manila and Quezon City, and move to Chino Roces Bridge (Mendiola) in Manila. (PNA)