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Traditional jeepneys caravan to protest modernization

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• CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

CARAVAN. Traditional jeepney drivers and operators held a caravan in Bacolod City yesterday as they protested against the PUV modernization program of the government.*

More than 100 traditional public utility vehicles joined a caravan yesterday in Bacolod City from Barangay Bata to the Bacolod City Government Center grounds to protest against the PUV modernization program of the government and to air other demands.

The caravan was led by the United Negros Drivers and Operators Center (UNDOC) and the Bacolod Alliance for Commuters, Operators, and Drivers Inc. (BACOD).

Noli Rosales, Kilusang Mayo Uno secretary general, yesterday said this is the third day of their protest in support of the national transport strike which has caused transportation paralyzation of about 80 to 90 percent. They staged a caravan protest yesterday during the culmination of the national protest.

Rosales said they are demanding that the renewal of their franchise be restored to five years and that they should not be forced by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Malacañang, and the local government to join the consolidation process that will mean the voluntary surrender of their franchise.

They are calling on Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez to study the situation of the traditional jeepneys because it appears that he is favoring the operation of electronic jeepneys in Bacolod.

Rosales said they are also requesting the mayor to study City Ordinance No. 966 or the Local Public Route Plan which has allowed the operation of modernized jeepneys in the city, as well as the rehabilitation scheme they have been pushing for which would provide them subsidy from the national government and the LGU, in order for traditional jeepneys to support their program.

He pointed out that they have nothing against Benitez. However, they believe that as a public servant he should also support the traditional jeepneys and not only electric and modernized jeepneys.*

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