Press Release
December 4, 2017


The hearing on the planned modernization of public utility vehicles has been moved to Monday, December 11, instead of Thursday, December 7 as originally scheduled, Sen. Grace Poe announced today.

Poe, chairperson of the Senate committee on public services, said she decided to postpone the hearing in order that Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade can explain to the transport sector the government's plans and possible safety nets to jeepney drivers and operators when the jeepney modernization rolls out next year. Tugade is not available this Thursday due to prior engagements.

"Nakiusap si Secretary Tugade kung puwedeng iurong ang hearing natin sa Lunes. Sinabi naman niya na magpapadala siya sana kung Thursday matutuloy yung hearing ng mga undersecretaries niya pero ako na mismo ang nagdesisyon at aapela ako sa Piston at sa ibang grupo, sa tingin ko naman ang layunin nila ay makaharap mismo si Secretary Tugade kaya ako na mismo ang nagdesisyon na kung Lunes siya available, hindi ko siya pinakawalan-sabi ko bigyan ninyo ako ng petsa kung hindi kayo pwede ng Thursday. Sabi niya Lunes daw available siya, kaya itutuloy natin ang public hearing kasama ang mga jeepney driver para dito sa phaseout possibility, ng December 11, Monday," Poe told reporters after emerging from a hearing.

Jeepney drivers and operators, particularly from the transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) and the No to Jeepney Phaseout Coalition called off their December 4-5 transport strike after Poe appealed to them to halt the strike and instead discuss the issues during a public hearing, specifically with Tugade.

Poe has filed Senate Resolution No. 554 calling for an investigation as several transport groups have voiced their opposition to the PUV modernization because of the seeming phase out of jeepneys despite the lack of route rationalization plans.

Piston tagged the plan as anti-poor in that the estimated cost of jeepney replacement was pegged between P1.5 million to P1.8 million which they said they could not afford.

"While the intent of the PUV modernization program is laudable, it may have unintended negative effects for hundreds of thousands of public utility jeepney drivers and operators and consequently, the commuting public, considering that several issues remain to be threshed out regarding the program," Poe said in filing the resolution.

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