Manibela Chairman Mar Valbuena

QUEZON CITY – The transport group Manibela on Tuesday (Nov. 21) urged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. to guarantee that there will be no more phaseout and no more modernization in order to stop the nationwide transport strike.

“Maglabas lamang po ng Executive Order si PBBM na wala ng phaseout at wala ng modernization, titigil na po kami sa strike,” Manibela Chairman Mar Valbuena said in a press conference in UP Hotel in Diliman, Quezon City.

Valbuena also announced that they will join the transport strike being staged by PISTON (Pinag-isang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide) starting Nov. 22 to 24, 2023 with the expected participation of 250,000 PUVs (Public Utility Vehicles), UV (Utility Vehicle) Express units and shuttles nationwide.

He said that they have been talking with PISTON about the nationwide transport strike for the last two weeks already.

Valbuena added that it’s not only PISTON and Manibela who are staging the nationwide transport strike, but there are also other groups, which he would not identify for the moment.

He cited that since their transport strike on Oct. 16 and 17, 2023 they have already been on an “indefinite strike”, meaning that, if they are harassed, they can stage a continuous transport strike any day.

The transport leader noted that there is allegedly no “phaseout” of jeepney but it’s not clear whether or not their franchise will be renewed if they will not consolidate.

He posed the question of what really is the truth?. There is no phaseout but the PUVMP (Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program) still continues. Should it be that there is no more PUVMP so that there will be no phaseout.?

“Hindi naman po objective na masaktan ang taong bayan. Hindi po objective na walang masakyan ang taong bayan,” Valbuena said.

“Always po na open kami sa dialogo with the LTFRB o DoTr. Yung doable, yung sa kooperatiba, nakita na namin na hindi nagsucceed. Ayaw po namin sa consolidation. May karapatan ang bawat Pilipino na maghanapbuhay nang mag-isa at hindi kailangan nang sama-sama,” he added.

“Provisional authority lang po ang binigay sa amin at hindi prangkisa. Tuloy-tuloy po ang strike hanggat walang announcement na walang phaseout at walang modernization program,” Valbuena said.

“Wala po akong nadidinig na pabor sa consolidation. Marami pong natakot at tinakot sa consolidation. Marami pong reklamo at nagsabing isosoli na nila ang modernized jeepneys kasi hindi na nila kaya,” he added. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.