Sen. Bam: Protect commuters and drivers, no jeepney phase-out in March 2019

Sen. Bam: Protect commuters and drivers, no jeepney phase-out in March 2019
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) both committed that there will be no phase-out of public utility jeepneys (PUJs) come March 2019. 
 
“Lahat, pati komyuter, talo sa planong phase-out sa Marso. Kung mawala ang ating mga jeepney, wala ring masasakyan ang ating mga kababayan. Tulungan natin ang mga driver na mag-modernize, imbis na tanggalin lang ang kanilang trabaho’t kabuhayan ng kanilang pamilya,” said Sen. Bam. 
 
“Plano niyo sanang bawiin ang ang prangkisa ng mga jeep sa Marso, ngunit hindi man lang kinunsulta o tinanong ang transport sector. Gawin natin ito ng tama, huwag muna ituloy itong phase-out,” added Sen. Bam, referring to the Memorandum Circular released by DOTr and LTFRB. 
 
During the hearing of the Committee on Public Services on the issue of jeepney modernization, LTFRB head Martin Delgra and DOTr Undersecretary Tim Orbos gave their commitment to Sen. Bam Aquino that the phase-out in March will not push through. 
 
Earlier, Sen. Bam filed a public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization bill with the support of the National Confederation of Transport Union (NCTU), Sentro, ACTO, and Philippine Advocates for Transport Convergence. 
 
In his Senate Bill No. 2056, Sen. Bam seeks to make jeepneys safer and more efficient for commuters and the environment, while ensuring the livelihood of drivers and their families. 
 
“Nais natin umunlad at umasenso ang mga sistema ng jeepney at tricycle, bus at tren sa bansa – at naniniwala akong may kakayahan tayong gawin ito. Ngunit kailangan din natin siguraduhin na sa programang ito, walang masasagasaang Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam. 
 
If passed into law, jeepneys will be tested based on road-worthiness and financial assistance will be given to owners who need to upgrade their jeepneys. Drivers that wish to shift careers will also be given sufficient compensation.

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