Jeepney drivers and operators successfully conducted a national strike on September 30. Sacrifing their income for a day, they coverged in several protest centers to show their opposition to “modernization” program of the government.
The reactionary government has been pushing for the implementation of the program since 2017. The government plans to phase-out 15-year old jeepneys and replace these with “modern jeeps” worth P1.6-P2 million each. About 240,000 jeepney drivers and operators, and 80,000 UV Express drivers will lose their jobs due to the program.
They also opposed oil price hikes and additional excise taxes, extortion, and other oppressive local ordinances and regulations of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
The jeepney strike was led by the Pinag-isang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (PISTON) and the Alliance of Concerned Transport Organizations, and was supported by various organizations including the Stop and Go Alliance, Gabriela, and Anakbayan. Because of the strike, the regime was compelled to cancel classes and work in various areas, and allowed the operation of additional buses.
Metro Manila and Calabarzon, and major routes in Isabela, Pampanga, Bulacan, Albay, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan and Davao were 90% paralyzed. Drivers in the cities of Cauayan, Santiago, Baguio, Dagupan, Bacolod, Cebu and General Santos also participated in the strike.
Drivers also opposed the implementation of oppressive local ordinances. In Valenzuela City, they opposed the “no contact” policy which allows the government to charge drivers with traffic violations and fine them using only CCTV and other digital footages. In Butuan City, tricycle drivers also conducted a strike to oppose the plan of the local government to phase-out gasoline-powered tricycles and replace these with electric tricycles.