Jeepney drivers and operators were assured there is no final plan yet to phase out public utility jeepneys that are more than 15 years old.
DOTr Regional Director Jose Eduardo Natividad told drivers and operators who marched to the regional office to air their stand against agency’s modernization plan that there are no department orders or moves for the DOTr to phase-out jeepneys yet.
“The modernization plan is still being studied and there are no department orders to move for the phase-out of jeepneys. I know there is a draft, anything can happen,” Natividad said.
He urged the transport groups to submit their position paper to be reviewed by the agency together with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and vowed he will submit it to DOTr Sec. Art Tugade.
He also thanked the transport groups in Baguio and Benguet for not staging a strike.
Members of the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide-Metro Baguio, Baguio-Benguet Movement Against Phase-out of PUJs, and the other operators and drivers associations in Baguio and Benguet called on the government to stop its modernization plan that will lead to the phase out of 15-year-old and older public utility jeepneys and replace them with modern and environment-friendly vehicles.
Piston-MB president Carlito Wayas said the modernization plan will deprive many drivers and operators of their livelihood.
About 8,000 jeepney operators and drivers in Baguio and Benguet will be affected if the plan pushes through. Aside from being costly, those against electric jeeps say these are not feasible due to the terrains of the city.