- Another nationwide transport strike is set on December 4 and 5, Monday and Tuesday
- Malacañang is thinking of suspending classes on the affected dates
- The transportation department threatens to cancel the licenses of those who will join the strike
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said jeepney operators and drivers might get their licenses and franchises revoked if they join the nationwide transport strike organized by militant group PISTON next week.
The strike is part of their protest against the public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) that is set to start in 2018.
According to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, they have invited PISTON to dialogues, but the activist group still insisted on organizing strikes.
He added that other groups had already discussed the program with them.
Tugade had already given the order to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to cancel the permits of those who will participate in the strike.
The transportation secretary said these operators and drivers are violating their responsibility not to disrupt public convenience.
DOTr Assistant Secretary Leah Quiambao clarified that they are not against letting the transport community organize rallies. They are, however, opposed to the "tigil pasada" because it inconvenience the riding public.
The "tigil pasada" or transport strike is the most common form of protest by jeepney operators and drivers.
According to the Philippine News Agency, the modernization program has already received the support of other transport organizations like Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (FEJODAP), Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations (ACTO), Pangkalahatang Sanggunian Manila and Suburb Drivers Association Nationwide Inc., (PASANG MASDA), Land Transportation Organization of the Philippines (LTOP), and Alliance of Transport Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines (ALTODAP).
The jeepney modernization and phaseout will commence on January 2018. All jeepneys 15 years old and above will be replaced with e-jeepneys, or solar-powered jeeps. The new jeeps will also have CCTV cameras, GPS, and automated fare collection.