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All systems go for Oct. 16-17 transport strike vs jeepney modernization

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All systems go for Oct. 16-17 transport strike vs jeepney modernization
A member of the transport group Stop and Go holds a protest sign denouncing the government’s transport modernization program during a protest action in Metro Manila last Sept. 25. -- MICHAEL VARCAS/PHILIPPINE STAR

DRIVERS AND operators of public utility jeepneys (PUJ) will lead a transport strike on Oct. 16-17 to protest the government’s plan to phase out and replace old PUJs with electronic vehicles (e-vehicles). George San Mateo, national president of the transport alliance Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON) said it’s all systems go for the planned protest action. “Tuloy na tuloy po ang strike,” he confirmed to BusinessWorld via text message. Mr. San Mateo labeled the government’s transport modernization as “fake,” and that it will only be advantageous to local and foreign capitalists involved in the e-vehicle business. Other transport workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) are also expected to join the strike, according to a KMU statement released earlier this week. The KMU said the government’s PUJ phaseout program would “massacre” the livelihood of more than 600,000 drivers and operators nationwide. Mr. San Mateo also clarified that PISTON is not among the petitioners for a base fare hike of P2 and their planned strike does not include a demand for an increase in public transport rates.

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