About 20 jeepneys covered with black plastic sheetsjoined a protest caravan down Bacolod's main streets yesterday to dramatize the transport sector's opposition to the jeepney modernization program.
The black symbolizes the ultimate death of the transport industry if government goes ahead with its modernization program in its current form, Diego Malacad, United Negros Drivers and Operators Center secretary general, said.
The jeepney drivers and operators also made astop at the Land Transportation office to air their grievances.
Among the messages on their vehicles were “No to 15 year model phase out of PUV-PUJ-PUB!, Yes to Rehabilitation of Unit”, “No to big bus company monopoly”, “Yes to mass transport”, “No to Oil Deregulation Law RA 8479”, “Yes to National Industrialization”, “No to electronic tricycle”, and “No to emergency power!”.
The two-day nationwide transportation strike against the government's jeepney modernization program that was to start yesterday was called off after Senator Grace Poe's assurance that a Senate hearing on their concerns will be held, Malacad said, calling it an initial victory for the transport group.
He said they are hoping the Senate, after a review of the modernization law, will make policy amendments that will ensure the survival of the transport sector.
Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said a public hearing on their concerns will be held onThursday, with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade invited to attend, Malacad said.*CPG
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