Dozens of jeepney drivers and operators gathered in front of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Boards (LTFRB) office in Quezon City as they held what they said a “successful picket” to call for various actions considering the still limited transportation in Metro Manila.
The Pinagkaisahang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) said their members joined and led the picket “to call for the resumption of jeepney operations in all routes, zero phaseout, and financial assistance to drivers who were left without source of income in the past six months.”
While PISTON president, Mody Floranda, recognized the resumption of operations in 206 routes in recent LTFRB memoranda, he said, “the number is still small compared to the total of 406 routes where jeepneys are still not allowed to operate.”
“Nasa 58,000 bilang ng mga jeep pa rin ang hindi makabiyahe na nangangahulugan ng gutom sa pamilya ng halos 116,000 drayber. Ilang buwan na nating itong pinapanawagan ngunit hanggang sa kasalukuyan ay ni hindi nila magawang ibigay ng buo ang isa sa aming mga panawagan (Around 58,000 jeeps are still not allowed to operate. And it means hunger for about 116,000 drivers. It’s been months since we call for their operations’ resumption, but until now, they cannot give all what we ask),” he said.
After several times of protesting, Floranda said that PISTON members returned to LTFRB office to show their “unity” and that “they will not stop” until their demands are met.
“Ayuda Ngayon Na! Jeepney Ibalik-Pasada! (Give assistance now! Resume jeepney operations)” one of the protest materials raised during the picket read.
“Balik Pasadang Ligtas, Ipaglaban (Fight for safe jeepney operations resumption),” another one read.